Xi Jinping Meets with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe
2023/10/20 23:00

On the morning of October 20, 2023, President Xi Jinping met at the Great Hall of the People with Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe who is in China to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).

Xi Jinping pointed out that the Chinese and Sri Lankan people have enjoyed a time-honored friendship marked by mutual learning and mutual help, and have been partners for self-reliant development. Sri Lanka was one of the first countries that welcomed and joined the Belt and Road Initiative. China values its relations with Sri Lanka, and is ready to work with Sri Lanka to consolidate political mutual trust, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and promote new and steady progress in the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership based on sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship, so as to bring greater benefits to the two peoples.

Xi Jinping emphasized that China firmly supports Sri Lanka in upholding strategic autonomy, and safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and dignity. China is ready to expand import of signature Sri Lankan products, and encourage Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Sri Lanka to help the country realize economic transformation and upgrading and sustainable development. China hopes that Sri Lanka will provide an open and transparent business environment for Chinese enterprises. China will continue to provide assistance to Sri Lanka with no political strings attached, and help the country cope with difficulties affecting social life and people’s livelihood. The two sides should make every effort to push forward the Colombo Port City and Hambantota comprehensive development project, making them flagship projects of China-Sri Lanka Belt and Road cooperation. China is happy to see Sri Lanka become a commercial center of the Indian Ocean. The two sides should step up coordination in international and regional affairs, oppose politicization of human rights issues and bloc confrontation, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and fellow developing countries.

Wickremesinghe congratulated China on successfully hosting the third BRF. Sri Lanka has attached great importance to and actively participated in the Belt and Road cooperation, and is optimistic about its potential and prospects. The development of the Belt and Road, especially the Maritime Silk Road, has greatly facilitated Sri Lanka's economic and social development and is conducive to enhancing Sri Lanka's unique influence in the region. Sri Lanka hopes to work more closely with China in the future, as China can be an important partner in Sri Lanka's modernization. Sri Lanka firmly adheres to the one-China policy and hopes to learn from China's experience in development. Sri Lanka welcomes Chinese enterprises’ investment in the country, and is ready to provide them with an enabling business environment. Sri Lanka believes that the Indian Ocean should embrace openness, and is ready to strengthen communication with China on regional affairs and support the solidarity and cooperation among developing countries.

Cai Qi and Wang Yi attended the meeting.

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