Xi calls for closer China-Sri Lanka partnership

Updated: 2014-09-16 15:41


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COLOMBO - China stands ready to work with Sri Lanka to consolidate their strategic cooperative partnership and pursue common development for a better future, says Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In a signed article published Tuesday ahead of his state visit to the South Asian island country, Xi said he is "looking forward to having in-depth exchange of views with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other leaders and people from various sectors of Sri Lanka on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest." ' China-Sri Lanka ties "are better than ever and blessed with new development opportunities," notes the article, titled "Let us become partners in pursuit of our dreams" and carried by Sri Lankan newspaper Daily News.

Focusing on the future development of China-Sri Lanka ties, Xi put forward in the article a four-point proposal aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation for the benefit of both countries.

Firstly, the two countries should coordinate development strategies and work as partners in pursuit of common dreams, Xi said.

He pointed out that the Mahinda Chintana, which represents Sri Lanka's dream of national strength and prosperity, has much in common with the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Also, Sri Lanka has envisaged itself becoming a five-fold hub: maritime, aviation, commerce, energy and knowledge, which coincides with China's proposal to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the president said.

He called on both sides to turn "their wishes into a driving force" and enhance exchanges and cooperation in maritime, business, infrastructure, defense, tourism and other areas, so as to accelerate the renewal of the Maritime Silk Road for the benefit of the two countries and two peoples.

Secondly, Xi said, the two sides should consolidate good-neighborliness and friendship and continue to be mutually beneficial partners.

The president pledged to put into practice China's guiding principles for neighborhood diplomacy -- amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness -- in its cooperation with Sri Lanka in various fields, "so that China's development may benefit the people of Sri Lanka to a greater extent."

"China will continue to do what it can to assist Sri Lanka in its economic and social development," reads the article.

Thirdly, the two countries need to increase strategic coordination and become each other's strong support, said Xi.

Noting that both China and Sri Lanka need a peaceful, stable and friendly international environment for their development, the president reaffirmed that China will uphold and carry forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, enhance coordination and cooperation with Sri Lanka in regional and international affairs, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and developing countries as a whole.

Fourthly, Xi proposed that the two countries build a strong bridge of friendship and become true friends who understand each other.

"We will continue to explore the profound historical and cultural assets of the two countries and continuously expand cultural, educational, religious, youth, women and local exchanges and cooperation between the two countries," said the Chinese president.

Noting that the China-Sri Lanka ties can be traced back 1,000 years, Xi said the two countries have maintained steady development of bilateral ties since the establishment of diplomatic relations 57 years ago, "setting a good example of how countries of different sizes can live in amity and cooperate with each other for mutual benefit."

"I believe that the ship of China-Sri Lanka friendship and cooperation is bound to brave the wind and waves along the magnificent 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to pursue the dream of national development," he said.