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Gotabaya says he admires Chinese President Xi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls Gotabaya "an old friend" and promises economic help to Sri Lanka

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa shakes hands with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Colombo yesterday/PMD photo

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declared himself to be a great admirer of Chinese leader Xi Jing Ping when he met the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday, a Media Release from the Presidential Secretariat said.

Rajapaksa had said he follows President Xi’s his speeches and statements closely and that some of his policies especially on poverty alleviation were incorporated into his own mandate.

In response Minister Yi had congratulated the President on his election and called him “an old friend of China.”

The statement also said that the Sri Lankan President noted that ours “is a small country. Fortunately or not, it is geographically placed in a most strategic location. As a result, the country has to face many political challenges. The only way to overcome them is to be economically strong. Economic independence will ensure political independence.”

Minister Yi in his response said that China, as did in the past, would be Sri Lanka’s longtime partner in prosperity and growth. He noted that China’s policy towards Sri Lanka had always been consistent and China would continue to be Sri Lanka’s reliable friend, it added. 

“As Sri Lanka’s strategic partner China will continue to standby Sri Lanka’s interests. China stands for the country’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. We will not allow any outside influences to interfere with matters that are essentially internal concerns of Sri Lanka”, Minister Yi pledged.  

Referring to President Rajapaksa’s commitment to make Sri Lanka economically independent, the Chinese Foreign Minister said that during the President’s visit next month all arrangements would be made to meet with necessary parties that can help Sri Lanka in the areas of technology, tourism, infrastructure and other related fields. The visit, he promised will be most productive.

“Sri Lanka may have less landmass, but will soon be strong economically. China will be with Sri Lanka in its striving to reach this goal”, Minister Yi assured.