Boosting ties: Sri Lankan prime minister visits China

CCTV News

Tango Bo 3

At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe kicked off a three-day official visit to China on Thursday. The two sides are expected to hold high-level discussions to promote cooperation mechanisms covering economic affairs, investment, and technology.

CCTV’s Tang Bo reports from Beijing.

Boosting ties: Sri Lankan prime minister visits China

Boosting ties: Sri Lankan prime minister visits China

At the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe kicked off a three-day official visit to China on Thursday. The two sides are expected to hold high-level discussions to promote cooperation mechanisms covering economic affairs, investment, and technology. CCTV's Tang Bo reports from Beijing.

This is the Sri Lankan prime minister’s first official visit to China, after the country’s new government took office last year.

Seven agreements are to be signed during the visit. They span from sciences, tourism development, financial services, to water resources management.

Business representatives from Sri Lanka will also hold discussions with leading Chinese entrepreneurs, to solidify Chinese investment to the country.

Ahead of his visit, the prime minister said Sri Lanka wishes to build long-term economic and investment relations with China. This is despite a hiccup between the two sides last year, when the Sri Lankan government ordered a review of a Port City project in the capital of Colombo, which involves Chinese investment.

Approved by the previous government, the 1.4-billion dollar project is expected to boost local economy and create over 80,000 jobs. Despite the project being recently brought back to life, the one-year suspension has resulted in more than 120 million dollar in losses to the Chinese side.

But this incident appears not to have deterred the bilateral cooperation. China’s Foreign Ministry says both sides still see their economic ties as promising. There have been talks on setting up a special economic zone in southern Sri Lanka.