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Belt and Road Initiative to provide hard and soft connectivity: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

By Chen Liubing | | Updated: 2017-11-01 17:01

Belt and Road Initiative to provide hard and soft connectivity: Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

Chen Xiaodong, assistant Foreign Minister, speaks at the celebration in Beijing on Oct 31, 2017. [Photo provided to]

"Over the past 60 years, there has been steady progress in our relationship and fruitful outcomes of practical cooperation, bringing concrete benefits to our two peoples," said Chen Xiaodong, assistant Foreign Minister of China, at the celebration.

"President Xi Jinping's state visit to Sri Lanka in 2014 ushered our relationship into a new stage of development," said Chen, adding that China will continue to deepen relations with neighborhood diplomacy of friendship and partnership, and build an even closer community with a share future in its neighborhood.

"China would like to work hand in hand with Sri Lanka in the spirit of sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship to create an even better future for China-Sri Lanka relationship," he added.

Marapana is paying an official visit to China from Oct 29 to Nov 4 at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Xinhua reported on Monday.

During his first official visit to China, Marapana congratulated China on the convening of the 19th CPC National Congress, saying that Sri Lanka expresses its gratitude for China's long-term support for its economic and social development.

The two sides also exchanged letters of approval for a mutual legal assistance treaty on Monday.

China is now Sri Lanka's second-largest trading partner and 271,577 tourists visited the country last year and 163,189 by July this year. China is also the largest project contractor of Sri Lanka.

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