|Wang Yi: China-Sri Lanka Relations Step into a New Stage|
On July 9, 2016 local time, during an interview in Colombo, Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that a while ago, China-Sri Lanka relations were affected due to government transition in Sri Lanka. With joint efforts of both countries, the transition period has come to an end and this page has been turned over. Currently, China-Sri Lanka relations have returned to the track of sound and stable development.
Wang Yi said that my visit to Sri Lanka this time aims at accelerating the implementation of the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, comprehensively combing through China-Sri Lanka cooperation in all fields and facilitating new achievements of China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership. Both sides agreed to inherit the traditional friendship, consolidate political mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation. With leading major projects like the Colombo Port City and the Port of Hambantota, both sides will seize current important opportunities and give play to the advantage of highly complementary economies of both countries, so as to push forward the development of harbor-oriented economy and infrastructure construction of Sri Lanka and boost Sri Lanka's self-development capability. Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka and the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact. Both sides should make due preparations in all aspects and take the year that inherits the past and ushers in the future as an opportunity to elevate China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership to a new level.
Wang Yi pointed out that since President Xi Jinping put forward the important initiative of jointly building the "Belt and Road", the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt has been vigorously conducted and comprehensively advanced. The construction of the Maritime Silk Road should keep pace and align with it for synchronized development. Sri Lanka was an important pivot on the ancient Maritime Silk Road, and Zheng He stationed in Sri Lanka five times out of his seven sea voyages. Sri Lanka is fully capable of becoming an important cooperative partner in jointly building the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" by giving play to its location advantages of connecting both the Asian and the African continents and reaching the South Asian subcontinent. Through jointly construction of the Maritime Silk Road, China is willing to help Sri Lanka to realize its national development vision and become the future shipping, logistics and even the financial center in the Indian Ocean so that this pearl in the Indian Ocean can glow with new radiance in this era.