Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that Sri Lanka hopes to learn from China’s experience in poverty reduction and rural revitalization.
“Poverty alleviation is our primary objective. For that, we can follow the example of China,” he has said.
He had made these remarks during a phone call yesterday (29) with Chinese president Xi Jinping.
The Chinese leader has expressed his willingness to help alleviate poverty in Sri Lanka, saying that in the past few years, 09 million people in his country have been lifted out of poverty.
In a media release, the President’s Media Division said that the two leaders had agreed to strengthen and enhance mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in all fields.
The Chinese President stated that he will continue to support the sustainable development of Sri Lanka and will stand firm for Sri Lanka in the face of the unjust pressure it faces in the multilateral arena.
The two leaders had exchanged wishes with Mr. Xi extending best wishes for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year while Mr. Rajapaksa congratulated China on the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China.
The Sri Lankan leader also thanked China for providing 600,000 doses of the Covid vaccine while Mr. Xi has said that while the COVID-19 pandemic was a powerful challenge, it helped lift China-Sri Lanka relations to a new level.
President Rajapaksa has expressed his heartfelt gratitude to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Government for their outstanding support to Sri Lanka at the recently concluded 46th Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
President Xi too, has said China will never forget Sri Lanka’s support for the restoration of China’s lawful seat in the UN, and is willing to continue working with Sri Lanka to support each other on issues of mutual concern, safeguard each other’s legitimate rights and promote global justice and fairness.
Enhanced BRI cooperation
President Xi has noted that China is willing to work with Sri Lanka to enhance Belt and Road cooperation and contribute to the economic revival of Sri Lanka in the post-pandemic era.
“The Port City of Colombo and the Port of Hambantota are two projects that have great potential to contribute to the socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. We hope to see them completed soon. The port city has the potential to greatly expand foreign investment opportunities. It is also a solution to unemployment,” said the Chinese President.
President Rajapaksa noted that the Hambantota Port and other infrastructure development projects are progressing satisfactorily and requested the Chinese Government to complete the remaining work on the project expeditiously.
President Rajapaksa appreciated the currency swap facility provided by the People’s Bank of China to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and said that it would definitely help ensure the financial stability of Sri Lanka.
Recalling his visit to Sri Lanka in 2014, President Xi said he would like to see President Rajapaksa visit China as soon as possible.
President Rajapaksa said that he was unable to visit China as planned due to the Covid epidemic and he expects to visit China at a convenient time for both sides.