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Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong Meets with Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr. Palitha Kohona

2021/08/26

On August 26, 2021, Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Liu Jinsong met with Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr. Palitha Kohona. The two sides had a cordial and friendly exchange of views on China-Sri Lanka relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

Liu Jinsong said that Mr. Ambassador is in his seventies, but is full of vitality like a young man. After taking office, he has visited various parts of China and frequently accepted media interviews to fully promote the development of China-Sri Lanka relations. This spirit is admirable.

Liu Jinsong said that China and Sri Lanka have maintained friendly exchanges for thousands of years through the Maritime Silk Road. Eminent Chinese in history such as Faxian, Yijing, Du Huan, Wang Dayuan, Zheng He had all visited the Simhalauipa (name of ancient Sri Lanka). The prince of Ceylan had visited China. The family of the prince thrived in Quanzhou with the surname "Shi". Sri Lanka is one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China, and the Rubber-Rice Pact is a symbol of the friendship between the two countries. Several generations of new Chinese diplomats have worked hard for China-Sri Lanka relations. Female diplomat Chen Yimi died of illness while working in Sri Lanka. She is remembered by her husband, Ambassador Wang Yusheng, and by all of us. The Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka visits her tomb every year.

Liu Jinsong emphasized that after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Xi Jinping had two telephone conversations with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, which pointed out the direction for the development of China-Sri Lanka relations. The two countries have helped each other in times of difficulty, demonstrating the true friendship in times of adversity. Liu Jinsong thanks the Sri Lankan side for celebrating the centenary of the Communist Party of China in various ways, and appreciates Sri Lanka's valuable support on issues concerning China's core interests and concerns. In the first half of this year, the bilateral trade volume between China and Sri Lanka rose by 61 percent against the trend, demonstrating the resilience and vitality of the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. China is willing to deepen anti-pandemic cooperation with Sri Lanka, manage large projects well, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, education, and culture. There is a saying in Sri Lanka that "Travel gives people wisdom". Sri Lanka has rich and distinctive tourism resources. He believes that more Chinese tourists will visit beautiful Sri Lanka after the pandemic and hopes that the two sides will join hands in multilateral fields and regional affairs to jointly safeguard international fairness and justice and the stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

Dr. Palitha Kohona said the friendship between Sri Lanka and China has continued to flourish, and I am deeply honored to be sent to China. Every day in China is worth looking forward to. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a serious impact on Sri Lanka. We are grateful to the Chinese side for offering support in a timely manner and providing great help to Sri Lanka in the pandemic response and economic recovery. Sri Lanka welcomes Chinese companies to invest in Sri Lanka, looks forward to Chinese tourists visiting Sri Lanka, and hopes to promote cooperation in various fields in a comprehensive and balanced manner. Sri Lanka firmly opposes the politicization of issues such as human rights and the origin tracing of the virus. Next year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and China and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact. Sri Lanka hopes to organize celebration activities with China to push bilateral relations to a new level.

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