President Hu Jintao and his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday exchanged congratulations on the "Year of China-Sri Lanka Friendship" which also marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
The Chinese and Sri Lankan peoples have a long history of friendly exchanges, and in the past 50 years, the two countries have witnessed a healthy and smooth growth of the bilateral ties which have stood the test of time and changes in the international environment, said Hu.
Describing the bilateral ties as an example of friendly coexistence between countries with different social systems, the Chinese president said the Chinese government cherishes its traditional friendship with Sri Lanka and is committed to promoting the friendly ties.
In Rajapaksa's message to Hu, the Sri Lankan president said the bilateral relations over the last half-century have remained firm, deep and consistent and the progress on economic cooperation at all levels, increased religious and cultural interaction as well as close communication and consultation at the international and regional level were all evidence of this.
The president believed the activities for the "Year of China-Sri Lanka Friendship" will certainly boost the two countries' exchanges and cooperation in many new fields and promote all-round cooperation and a partnership of sincere mutual support and everlasting friendship.
Premier Wen Jiabao and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ratnasiri Wickremanayake also exchanged messages of congratulations on the same day.
(Xinhua News Agency February 7, 2007)