Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will discuss, among others, the UNHRC process with the Sri Lankan leaders during his bilateral visit to Sri Lanka tomorrow, a spokesman said.
Mr Wang who is also a state councillor will be here for top level bilateral engagements ahead of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s state visit to Beijing shortly. During his stay, he will hold talks with the President, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardane.
In terms of protocols, Mr Wang, as a state councillor, is equal to the vice premier. Therefore, his visit becomes the highest level diplomatic engagement China had with the new government of Sri Lanka after the presidential election on November 16, 2019. Also, it is Mr Wang’s first overseas visit this year.
A Chinese Embassy spokesman who wished to remain anonymous told Daily Mirror that the Foreign Minister’s discussion with the Sri Lankan leaders would centre on the highest level exchange visits, economic cooperation under Belt and Road Initiative, security, international issues such as the UNHRC process and the crisis in the Middle East.
The UNHRC adopted a resolution in 2015 on Sri Lanka. The then government co-sponsored the resolution. However, the new government has taken the position that co-sponsorship of the resolution 30/1 is unacceptable.
After the talks, the Chinese Minister will proceed to Africa.
President Rajapaksa is planning to undertake an official tour of China soon. It will be his second overseas visit upon election to office. Sri Lanka is one among the very first countries that pledged cooperation with Belt and Road Initiative by China. (Kelum Bandara)