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China, Sri Lanka Issue Joint Communique to Specify Cooperation

China and Sri Lanka issued a Joint Communique in Colombo Saturday at the end of Premier Wen Jiabao's official visit.
Both sides declared that, as Asian neighbors with a long tradition of friendship, based on the Five Principles for Peaceful Coexistence, China and Sri Lanka will establish and develop an all-round cooperative partnership featuring sincere mutual support and everlasting friendship, said the communique.
Following are a series of agreements and memorandums of understanding signed during premier Wen's visit in the joint communique:
-- Agreement on the Further Development of Bilateral Economic and Trade Relationship Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
-- Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
-- Protocol on Remitting the Partial Debt of the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
-- Exchange of Letters on the Project of Making Sculptures of the Late Leaders from Both China and Sri Lanka.
-- Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture Between the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
-- Memorandum of Understanding for the Development of Hambantota Bunkering System and Tank Farm Project Between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority and China Huanqiu Contracting and Engineering Corporation
The communique says it was the happy conclusion of both sides that since the early recognition of the People's Republic of China by Sri Lanka and the establishment of diplomatic relations in February 1957, under the careful guidance of successive leaders in both countries, the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Sri Lanka had been continuously enhanced.
It notes mutual exchanges and cooperation have developed steadily in the political, economic, cultural, and educational and other fields and deep understanding and friendship between the two peoples have a major factor in the relationship. Both Governments expressed satisfaction at the current state of bilateral relations and confidence in its further development including in new areas of interaction that were identified.
Premier Wen Jiabao discussed with President Kumaratunga her scheduled visit to China in September this year. Both welcomed the fact that this important bilateral visit coincide with the 10th Anniversary of the Women's Conference held in Beijing, it says.
The communique says the two sides resolved to maintain regular high level exchanges through visits and contacts between the leaders of the two countries. In this regard, they decided to encourage friendly exchanges between their Parliaments, Government agencies, political parties, youth and Non-Governmental Organizations in order to promote in depth all round development of their cooperation.
In the communique, the Chinese side reiterated that it will continue to support all endeavors of Sri Lanka to safeguard its sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity. The two sides reaffirmed their opposition to the three evils of terrorism, separatism and extremism. China expressed confidence in the Government's ongoing efforts to reach a peaceful negotiated settlement of all the issues involved. China assured Sri Lanka of support for the maintenance of conditions of peace, stability and security against all destabilizing threats, to enable all its people to realize their full potential and develop Sri Lanka's economy.
Sri Lanka restated that there is but one China in the world, the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. Sri Lanka firmly pursues the one China policy, opposes Taiwan independence of whatever form, and supports all efforts of China to safeguard sovereignty and territorial integrity, understands and supports the Anti-Secession Law deliberated and approved in the Third Session of the Tenth National People's Congress of China. Sri Lanka hopes to see an early national reunification of China.

It says China demonstrated deep sympathy for the people of Sri Lanka affected by the Tsunami disaster and expressed readiness to continue with the assistance and support provided in post disaster relief reconstruction and rehabilitation. China expressed its willingness to assist in the restoration of several Fishery Harbors devastated by the Tsunami. Help was also offered to Sri Lanka for the training of personnel in natural disaster advance warning and disaster mitigation. Consultations will proceed on the matter. It was announced that Red Cross Society of China would allocate funds from non-Government donations to assist the construction of China-Sri Lanka Friendship Village. Sri Lanka expressed its deep appreciation of the Chinese Government's prompt and sincere assistance following the Tsunami as a practical demonstration of the friendship between the two countries. It was noted that in addition to Governmental aid, contributions from the people and other organizations in China to Sri Lanka were among the highest from any country in the world.
It says the two countries reviewed the development of economic and trade cooperation. They agreed on the need to further promote practical bilateral cooperation in investment, joint ventures and contracted projects as further means of developing relations between the two countries.
The two sides will have further discussions on directing the trade flows to the mutual benefits of both countries including through mutually agreed arrangements, according to the communique.
It says agreement was reached to expand cooperation in fields such as resource development, transportation, infrastructure, housing, telecommunications and education on which the two sides will continue consultations. The two sides support and promote the participation of Chinese Enterprises in the construction of Hambantota Bunkering System & Tank Farm Project, Puttalam Coal Power Project, Colombo-Katunayake Expressway Project, Colombo-Katunayake Rail Link Project, Phosphate Mining & NPK Compound Fertilizer Project, and Kotte Sewerage System Project.
The Chinese Government agreed to provide Sri Lanka with preferential export buyer's credit to support Cooperation between Chinese and Sri Lankan enterprises.
The communique says China welcomed the initiative of Sri Lanka to establish a Special Export Processing Zone exclusively for Chinese enterprises on which proposals would be examined in detail.
The two sides also agreed to increase personnel exchanges and broaden cooperation in the fields of education, culture, science and technology and related fields. In this respect discussions between the two Governments would be pursued shortly through their respective Embassies and relevant Ministries. China agreed to facilitate release of funds from its Asian Regional Cooperation Funds as well as aid for Foreign Countries, in order to encourage the personnel exchanges in these fields, it says.
It was agreed that both the Chinese and Sri Lankan Governments will encourage the bilateral tourist traffic. The Chinese side welcomes and will facilitate the promotion of its tourism by the Sri Lankan side in China. The possibility of joint ventures in the hotel industry was discussed.
The communique notes Sri Lanka expressed its appreciation for the provision by China of favorable terms for the inauguration of direct air links between the capitals of the two countries as well as cargo services to Shanghai. Questions relating to expansion in these services and code sharing with Chinese carriers to domestic points in China, as well as Chinese airlines commencing operations to Sri Lanka would be favorably discussed by the relevant agencies. 
The two sides looked forward to the establishment of the Sri Lanka Consulate in Shanghai this year to facilitate people to people contacts as well as to expand cooperation in economic, tourism and other areas, says the communique.
In discussion on regional and international issues, the communique says, a common understanding was reached that the promotion of peace and development are the dominant themes in the current global situation. The two sides agreed to continue consulting with each other on international and regional affairs. Both sides reiterated their commitment to the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. While recognizing the importance of the United Nations in political, economic and social development, the two sides would continue consultations on the reform and improvement of the Organization.
It was agreed that, on the expiry of the term of current Secretary General of the United Nations, the next Secretary General should be from the Asian region, respecting the principle of geographic rotation, says the communique.
It notes the two sides discussed closer relations between China and SAARC. They welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the SAARC Chambers of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) and the China Council for the promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and expressed the hope that this would lead to stronger commercial and economic ties.
Wen visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, President of Sri Lanka. He was heading for India late Saturday to continue his four-nation tour to South Asia.

(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2005)

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