1st LD: Xi says China ready to support Sri Lanka's post-pandemic recovery with closer cooperation

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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. Enditem

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