Xi Jinping Holds Talks with President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka

On March 26, 2015, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka at the Great Hall of the People. The two heads of state positively evaluated China-Sri Lana relationship and stressed that the China-Sri Lanka friendship should be earnestly inherited, maintained and developed and the China-Sri Lanka relations should be promoted for a continuous sound and stable development under the new circumstance, thus to better benefit the two countries and two peoples and make contributions to the regional and world peace and development.

Xi Jinping extended welcome to Maithripala Sirisena for his visit to China and attendance of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015. Xi Jinping stressed that China and Sri Lanka are close neighbors enjoying traditional friendship. Over the past nearly 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relationship, the bilateral relations have always maintained a sound and steady development. The China-Sri Lanka friendship, as fruits nurtured by generations of the leaders of both countries and personages from all circles and treasuries cherished together by the two peoples, should be earnestly and everlastingly inherited, maintained and developed. China and Sri Lanka always carry out cooperation by upholding the principle of equality and mutual benefits, so as to bring tangible benefits to the two peoples. China's cooperation with Sri Lanka, which is based on mutual benefit and win-win result without any political preconditions, aims to help Sri Lanka sustain its development momentum and bring benefits to the Sri Lankan people. China always regards its relations with Sri Lanka as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and stands ready to join efforts with Sri Lanka to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields and promote the bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership featuring sincere mutual help and friendship of ever-lasting generations for new highs.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Sri Lanka should stick steadfastly to China-Sri Lanka friendly cooperation and grow into reliable friends that can trust each other. China respects the development path chosen independently by the Sri Lankan people in accordance with their own national conditions and supports Sri Lanka's efforts in safeguarding independent sovereignty and pursuing stable development. China and Sri Lanka should understand and support each other on issues related to the core interests including territory and sovereignty. China is willing to intensify communication with Sri Lanka on exchanges of experience in governance and administration of state affairs and wishes Sri Lanka could score new and greater achievements in the road of national development. Both sides should make joint efforts to actively build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and bring the financing channels including the Silk Road Fund and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank into full play, so as to steadily push forward the construction of major projects and industrial cooperation and conclude negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement at an early date. China is willing to encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Sri Lanka and help the country develop its manufacturing industry thus to realize sustainable development. I hope that Sri Lanka could ensure the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises. China is ready to, together with Sri Lanka, deepen cooperation in such traditional fields as economy, trade, and infrastructure, mainly expand cooperation in five fields including health care, agriculture, science and technology, tourism and human resources training, intensify exchanges in military and boost coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. I also hope Sri Lanka could support China's devotion to elevating the level of cooperation with the South Asian Association Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Maithripala Sirisena fully agreed to the views and stance expounded by Xi Jinping over the bilateral relations and highly commented on the consistent support from China to Sri Lanka. He noted that Sri Lanka and China, which enjoy a millennium-lasting friendship, have witnessed a sustained development in the bilateral relations and constantly deepened friendship over the past decades. The previous Sri Lankan governments and leaders all upheld a friendly policy towards China and devoted to Sri Lanka–China cooperation in all fields. China offers strong and valuable support to Sri Lanka in its realization of national peace and development and injects great force into the development and progress of Sri Lanka. China also firmly backs Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international bodies, for which Sri Lanka highly appreciates.

Maithripala Sirisena noted that the new Sri Lankan government will take more robust measures to continue developing friendly cooperation with China and the friendship between the two peoples. Sri Lanka hopes to intensify cooperation with China in economy, trade, education, scientific research, and defense. As the Silk Road is the common historical heritage of Sri Lanka and China, Sri Lanka hopes to boost cooperation with China in the framework of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Sri Lanka is grateful to the Chinese government for its support in construction of major projects including the Hambantota port and is willing to join hands with China to implement all the agreements that have been reached. The current problems facing the Colombo Port City is temporary and the problems do not lie with China. The new Sri Lankan government will make efforts to ensure that the support provided by China will be brought into play to ensure the economic development of Sri Lanka and the improvement of people's livelihood. Sri Lanka welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in Sri Lanka and will offer a favorable investment environment for investors.

After the talks, the two heads of state together witnessed the signing of cooperative documents covering infrastructural construction, health care and other fields.

Prior to the talks, Xi Jinping held a welcoming ceremony for Maithripala Sirisena at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Mme. Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping, Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee Wang Huning, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee Li Zhanshu, Vice Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Shen Yueyue, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Vice Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Li Haifeng and others were present.