In this Oct 16, 2016 photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, meets with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in the western Indian state of Goa. The Chinese leader sent a message to Sirisena on Feb 4, 2018 congratulating Sri Lanka on the 70th anniversary of its independence. (DING LIN / XINHUA)
BEIJING – China is willing to work with Sri Lanka for better development of strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday.
In his message, the Chinese leader congratulated Sri Lanka on the 70th anniversary of its independence from the British colonial rule in 1948.
Recalling the traditional friendship and mutual assistance between China and Sri Lanka, Xi said the two countries have conducted pragmatic cooperation within the framework of joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, achieving fruitful results.
"I pay high attention to the development of China-Sri Lanka relations, and I am willing to make concerted efforts with President Sirisena to push the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership of sincere mutual assistance and long-standing friendship to keep achieving greater development in the better interest of the two countries and the two peoples," Xi said.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa based on ancient land and maritime trade routes.
On Sri Lanka’s anniversary of independence, Premier Li Keqiang sent a congratulatory message to his Sri Lankan counterpart, Ranil Wickremesinghe.
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He said China wishes to consolidate the traditional friendship with Sri Lanka, strengthen mutual political trust, deepen practical cooperation and push bilateral relations to a new level within the framework of the initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
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