Xi calls for implementation of cooperative projects with Sri Lanka

Updated: 2014-09-17 17:17


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COLOMBO -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met Wednesday with Sri Lankan Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, calling on the two sides to implement and expedite major cooperative projects.

Recalling his fruitful talks with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Xi said they have reached broad consensus on deepening bilateral relations and charted the course for the future development of China-Sri Lanka ties.

Xi urged the two sides to implement the cooperation agenda set by the leaders, including speeding up the negotiation on a bilateral free trade agreement and advancing major cooperative projects such as the Hambantota Port Project.

He suggested the two sides jointly push forward the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a China-proposed initiative.

China and Sri Lanka, he added, should also expand cooperation in tourism, oceanographic research, marine economy, harbor construction, maritime security, increase people-to-people exchanges and strengthen cooperation on multilateral occasions.

Meanwhile, he said Beijing welcomes Colombo to join the preparation work of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member.

The Chinese president also expressed his appreciation over Jayaratne's long-term commitment to the development of bilateral ties, saying that the prime minister has witnessed and promoted China-Sri Lanka friendship.

For his part, Jayaratne said his country will actively participate in the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road so as to achieve common development.

The Sri Lankan people appreciate China for its valuable support and assistance, he said, adding that the South Asian country is willing to learn from China's experience of development.

Xi arrived here Tuesday for the first state visit to Sri Lanka by a Chinese head of state in 28 years.

It is the third stop of Xi's four-nation tour in Central and South Asia, which has already taken him to Tajikistan, the Maldives and will also take him to India.