ECONOMYNEXT – China is ready to take relations with Sri Lanka to a “new level” and deepen a strategic partnership seeking out common development paths, Foreign Minister Wang Yi had said after returning from a two day visit to Colombo.
“China is ready to join hands with Sri Lanka to push bilateral relations to a new level,” Wang Yi said in a statement released in Beijing.
“We should seek further synergy between our development strategies. China will firmly promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and help Sri Lanka realize its “Vision of Prosperity and Glory”.
Wang Yi recalled the signing of a Rubber-Rice Pact in 1952 when the country was facing forex shortages as the US tightened monetary policy in the wake of a bubble fired by the purchase of Liberty Bonds with liquidity injections. It is also referred to as the Korean War boom.
Based on the spirit of the Rubber Rice Pact both countries should “jointly address challenges, share opportunities, seek common development, and consolidate and expand partnership, so as to better the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative..” Wang Yi said.
In 2013 Sri Lanka and China formally set up a “strategic cooperative partnership.”
During the visit Wang Yi had discussed with Sri Lanka leaders to resume talks on a free trade deal, China’s envoy in Colombo said.
Meanwhile Wang Yi said the Colombo Port City, a sea reclamation project, and ports were key parts of the Belt and Road project of China.
“Sri Lanka is an important part of China’s Belt and Road cooperation in South Asia,” he said.
“The first phase of the Colombo Port City has been successfully completed, and new projects are ready to be launched. Achievements have been made in our cooperative operation of the Colombo Port time and again, bringing important benefits to Sri Lanka.
“The cargo throughput of the Hambantota Port has reached record highs, and the industrial park has been developing in full swing.
China has a container terminal in Colombo Port and operates Hambantota Port as the senior partner in a joint venture.