BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhua) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China stands ready to work with Sri Lanka to boost bilateral cooperation and provide robust impetus for the latter's post-pandemic economic recovery and sustainable development.
In a telephone conversation with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Xi suggested that the two countries steadily push forward major projects like the Colombo Port City and the Hambantota Port, and promote high-quality collaboration in jointly building the Belt and Road.
Xi pointed out that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Sri Lanka have pulled together and helped each other, writing a new chapter of China-Sri Lanka friendship.
China attaches great importance to the development of bilateral ties, and stands ready to work with Sri Lanka to determine the strategic direction and achieve steady growth of their relationship, he added.
China will continue to provide as much assistance as its capacity allows for Sri Lanka's fight against COVID-19, he said, also suggesting that the two sides seek to gradually carry out cooperation in fields like aviation and education while keeping epidemic control measures in place, and continuously explore new channels and areas of collaboration.
Stressing that China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperative partners that enjoy sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship, Xi said China will never forget Sri Lanka's valuable support for the restoration of its lawful seat in the United Nations.
China, he added, is willing to make continuous joint efforts with Sri Lanka to firmly support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests, defend their legitimate rights, promote international equity and justice, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
For his part, Gotabaya said that Sri Lanka warmly congratulates the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the 100th anniversary of its founding and highly appreciates the historic achievements made by the CPC.
Particularly, under President Xi's strong leadership, China has made great achievements in economic development and the fight against COVID-19, he added.
Sri Lanka, he said, thanks China for its valuable support, and is willing to collaborate closely with China to firmly support each other's positions on issues concerning their respective core interests and safeguard their common interests.
He added that Sri Lanka hopes to learn from the CPC's experience in governing the country, and especially looks forward to strengthening exchanges and cooperation on poverty alleviation and the rural vitalization strategy.
The Sri Lankan side is willing to work with China to expand cooperation in fields like infrastructure and tourism, and smoothly advance major projects such as the Colombo Port City, he said, adding that he is confident that these efforts will boost his country's economic and social development and bring the Sri Lankan people more benefits.