|Wang Yi Meets with Foreign Minister Ali Sabry of Sri Lanka|
On September 23, 2022 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Wang Yi expressed, China and Sri Lanka are each other's strategic cooperative partner. The two countries have always shared weal and woe and sincerely helped each other. This year, which marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, is of great significance for inheriting the past and ushering in the future. China is ready to work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the traditional friendship, consolidate strategic mutual trust and deepen and expand pragmatic cooperation. Congratulations to Sri Lanka on its initial results in stabilizing the situation and easing difficulties. China has provided medicines, rice, fuel and other emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka, and will continue to offer assistance within our capacity to help Sri Lanka overcome temporary difficulties.
Sabry said that the Sri Lanka-China friendship has a solid foundation. China has provided strong support for Sri Lanka's economic and social development for a long time. In particular, China has offered timely help to Sri Lanka when it encountered difficulties. Sri Lanka will never forget that. China is an important development partner of Sri Lanka, and Chinese enterprises have made positive contributions to Sri Lanka's efforts to accelerate development. The so-called "China's debt trap" claim is an entirely groundless rumor. Sri Lanka welcomes investment from all countries, including China, and will strive to ensure the safety and reasonable returns of foreign investment. He thanked China for assisting Sri Lankan students in returning to China to resume studies.
Wang Yi said, the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is part of South-South cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit. Certain countries created and spread the narrative of "debt trap". But by so doing, they bring developing countries an "underdevelopment trap" in essence. China and Sri Lanka will continue the understanding of and support to each other, and stand firmly together on the issues of sovereignty, independence and national dignity.
The two sides agreed to jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and give play to the effects of flagship projects such as the Hambantota Port and the Colombo Port City, so as to boost Sri Lanka's economic recovery.
The two sides will speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement and strive to reach a deal at an early date, so as to inject strong confidence and stable expectations into economic and trade cooperation.