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Chinese Vice Premier Pledges Support

Aug 12, 2010 2:38:10 AM - thesundayleader.lk

China has expressed interest in intensifying its initiatives to assist Sri Lanka in developing its economy and strengthening its infrastructure

Vice-Premier of China, Li Keqiang has told External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris in Beijing that while China welcomes the current situation in Sri Lanka, characterized by durable peace and stability, it looked forward to intensifying its initiatives to offer Sri Lanka every assistance in developing its economy and strengthening its infrastructure.

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang during the meeting had recalled the warm and mutual understanding pervading the relationship between the two countries during the last 53 years, and appreciated in particular Sri Lanka’s consistent advocacy of the “One-China Policy” and its strong endorsement of China’s stand on Taiwan and Tibet.

The External Affairs Ministry said that China’s Vice-Premier had referred to the dynamic leadership, which Sri Lanka was giving the SAARC nations and expressed China’s resolve to develop further her warm relations with the countries of South Asia.

Li Keqiang had extended a cordial invitation to President Mahinda  Rajapaksa to attend the Closing Ceremony of Expo 2010 in Shanghai in October, and told Minister Peiris that the Government of China looks forward to the visit of  President Rajapaksa.

Prof. Peiris had thanked the Vice-Premier cordially for this invitation and for the unwavering support, which China extended to Sri Lanka during the most challenging period of her recent history, both domestically and in all international fora.

He had noted with appreciation China’s massive contribution to the development and expansion of infrastructure in Sri Lanka, amounting to a portfolio of approximately 3 billion U.S. dollars in total, and cited as examples the Colombo – Katunayake Express Highway, the Hambantota Port and Bunkering Project, the Mattala International Airport, the Colombo – Matara Highway, the Norochcholai Power Project, the Matara – Kataragama Railway, and the Centre for the Performing Arts in Colombo.