Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will embark on a three day visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow to push forward strategic cooperative partnership.
During the visit, Wang will call on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and hold talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media briefing here today.
This is the first major visit by a Chinese leader after Sirisena government took over power last year.
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Hong said China and Sri Lanka are friendly neighbours and cooperation partners in the Belt and Road (Silk Road) initiative.
He said Ranil made a successful visit to China in April this year during which both sides reached a broad consensus on consolidating traditional friendship and promoting cooperation in major projects.
“China would like to take this visit as an opportunity to implement this important consensus and advance cooperation on policies, investment, production capability, people to people exchanges and push forward strategic cooperative partnership featuring mutual help and generation to generation friendship,” he said.
Sirisena and Ranil visited China as both countries made efforts to resolve differences over high-interest Chinese loans taken during Rajapaksa period, specially the USD 1.5 billon Colombo Port City project.
The Colombo project which was stalled by Sirisena government for several months for a review was approved with modifications specially the clause relating to permanent ownership of portion of land of the project to the Chinese firm.
It was now was modified to have 99 years lease under the domestic laws, according to Sri Lankan officials. China sees the project as key to its Maritime Silk Road, (MSR) project over which India has reservations.
China has also invested in several infrastructure projects including the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka.