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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 9, 2015

2015/01/09

Q: The presidential poll in Sri Lanka closed with Maithripala Sirisena elected as the new president. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side congratulates Mr. Sirisena on being elected as the president of Sri Lanka, and expects to see new strides made by the Sri Lankan government and people on their course toward national development under the leadership of President Sirisena.

China and Sri Lanka are neighbors of long-lasting amity. The two countries have forged a strategic partnership of cooperation based on sincere mutual assistance and generations of friendship over recent years. There has been a constant increase of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields between China and Sri Lanka, delivering tangible benefits to the two peoples. The Chinese side is ready to make concerted efforts with the Sri Lankan side to build upon past achievements and forge ahead into the future, and keep advancing China-Sri Lanka strategic partnership of cooperation.

Q: First, has the Chinese leader sent a message of congratulations to the president-elect of Sri Lanka? Second, Mr. Sirisena said in the presidential campaign that once elected, he would review some of the investment or credit Sri Lanka has received from other countries. What is China's comment on that?

A: As I said just now, we congratulate Mr. Sirisena on being elected as the new president of Sri Lanka. The friendship between China and Sri Lanka runs deep. All the previous Sri Lankan administrations uphold a policy of amity with China. Bilateral cooperation enjoys a strong momentum. Cooperation projects between China and Sri Lanka based on equality, mutual trust and mutual benefit have and will continue to produce genuine benefits to the two peoples. We hope and believe that the new Sri Lankan government will continue with its support to the friendly cooperation with China and push forward relevant projects.

Q: Will the statement made by the new leadership of Sri Lanka have any impact on the "Belt and Road" initiatives put forward by China? What kind of new approach will the Chinese side adopt to the new Sri Lankan government?

A: As I said just now, we believe that China-Sri Lanka cooperation projects featuring equality, mutual trust and mutual benefit will continue to bring tangible benefits to the two peoples. What we have reaped from our cooperation has proved that. We hope and believe that the new Sri Lankan government will carry forward its amicable policy toward China, and vigorously support its mutually beneficial cooperation with China that is taking place in various fields, so as to serve the two peoples.

Regarding the "Belt and Road" cooperation between China and neighboring countries that you just mentioned, we have the principle that the "Belt and Road" should be jointly built through consultation to meet the interests of all. That means we need to accommodate each other's comfort level and carry out relevant programs only when they are approved by all sides, so as to draw upon each other's strength, achieve win-win outcomes and benefit the people. The "Belt and Road" initiatives have been well received and widely supported by China's neighbors. The development of the program will keep yielding profits. I believe that China-Sri Lanka cooperation will embrace a prospect like that.

Q: First, the Chinese side said that it would push forward its traditional friendship and cooperation with the DPRK. Does that mean China-DPRK relationship will be even closer? Second, does China have the plan of sending senior officials to visit the DPRK this year?

A: On your first question, as I said yesterday at the press conference, the Chinese side has expressed its congratulations on the occasion of First Secretary King Jong-un's birthday. We wish the DPRK new achievements in economic and social development under the leadership of First Secretary King Jong-un. China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors. In the new year, the Chinese side will push forward its traditional friendship with the DPRK in keeping with the principles of carrying on the tradition, looking to the future, developing good-neighborly and friendly relations and enhancing cooperation.

On your second question, I have no information to offer at the moment.

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