China, Sri Lanka upgrade relationship

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China and Sri Lanka agreed to upgrade their relations to a strategic cooperative partnership, as the presidents of the two countries held talks in Beijing on Tuesday.

According to the new consensus, the two countries will maintain high-level exchanges, enhance political communication, and support each other's efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

They will respect each other's choice of development path and strengthen exchanges of experience in state governance.

The two sides agreed to expand bilateral trade and investment, and accelerate trade facilitation as well as investment and financing cooperation.

They will cooperate more in the areas of agriculture and the application of space technology. Sri Lanka welcomes Chinese enterprises to participate in building transportation infrastructure in Sri Lanka.

Under the agreement, the two countries will consolidate cooperation in law enforcement, security and defense. They vowed to jointly crack down on the "three forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as transnational crimes and drug trafficking.

They have agreed to develop more people-to-people exchanges and establish a mechanism for regular youth exchanges.

China supports Sri Lanka in launching Chinese language teaching, and Sri Lanka welcomes China to establish culture center in the country, the presidents agreed.

The two sides also pledged to enhance cooperation in tourism, religion, and the protection and utilization of cultural heritage.

The two countries will now also beef up communication and coordination in international and regional affairs. They will cooperate to cope with global challenges, such as climate change and non-traditional security threats.

They will jointly safeguard the rights and interests of developing countries. Sri Lanka supports China to deepen cooperation with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

After the talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa signed a joint communique and attended the signing ceremony of a number of cooperative documents.

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