- Emphasises on strengthening longstanding cultural ties
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy State Councillor Shen Yiqin who met Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena proposed to construct Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statue as a symbol of friendship between the two countries, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mr. Gunawardena said there is vast potential for further expanding economic cooperation between China and Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka highly values China’s continuous support to Sri Lanka,” he said when Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy and State Councillor, Shen Yiqin met him at the Temple Trees Office in Colombo yesterday.
The Prime Minister, thanking China for the assistance provided to Sri Lanka to restore the economy after the recent debt crisis, added that Sri Lanka would welcome public and private investments from China as well as investments in agriculture for production and export, renewable energy, IT, education and infrastructure development to provide long term solutions to economic issues.
“China’s support has given confidence not only to Sri Lanka but also other lending countries and international agencies to assist Sri Lanka’s process of debt restructuring,” he said.
Ms. Shen Yiqin, who is also the Chairperson of All-China Women’s Federation said China considers Sri Lanka as a close longstanding friend and looks forward to expand cooperation, invest in new projects, Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port, poverty alleviation programmes, education and agriculture.
She said China is happy to see the progress made by Sri Lanka to overcome difficulties and assured China’s continuous support to the efforts to meet the economic challenges.
The Prime Minister made a special mention about the Chinese stand in support of Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty at all international forums. Ms Shen Yiqin assured that China will always stand for Sri Lanka’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During the meeting, stressing the importance of further strengthening the longstanding cultural ties, the Chinese Envoy said China proposes to build Sri Lanka’s largest Buddha statue shortly as a lasting symbol of religious ties.
Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong and a group of senior Chinese officials took part in the discussion.
State Ministers Janaka Wakkumbura, Ashoka Priyantha, Geetha Kumarasinghe, MPs Sudarshana Denipitiya, Yadamini Gunawardena, Rajika Wickremasinghe, Muditha De Zoysa, Manjula Dissanayake, Kokila Gunawardene and Prime Minister’s Secretary Mr. Anura Dissanayake were also present at this meeting.