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    Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives today Featured

    September 16, 2014

    Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow (16) on a two-day official visit at the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa where he will inaugurate the first phase of the Port City Project near the Gall Face green with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Also the final phase of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant will be opened on Sept.16 under the patronage of Chinese President and Sri Lankan President.

    The Chinese President will ink number of bi-lateral agreements covering political, economic, cultural and social sectors, during his visit to Sri Lanka.

     

    The visiting leader will hold meetings with the President and the Prime Minister and pay a visit to the Parliament where he will meet the Speaker and members of parliament including the Opposition.

     

    This visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping will be the first visit by a Chinese President to Sri Lanka in 28 years. The last Chinese President to visit the island was President Li Xiannian in 1986.

     

    Sri Lanka recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1950, marking a turning point in relations between the two countries. In December of 1952, Sri Lanka and China signed the “Rubber-Rice Pact.” The agreement helped break the blockade and embargo that had been imposed on China by western nations.

     

    On Feb. 7, 1957, Sri Lanka and China initiated full diplomatic relations.

     

    China is the country that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has visited the most during his time in office, visiting the East Asian nation a total of seven times from 2007 to 2014.

     

    China has now become Sri Lanka’s largest development partner with assistance to projects such as, but not limited to, the following:
    o Southern Expressway
    o Hambantota Port Development Project
    o Norochcholai Coal Power Plant
    o Mattala International Airport
    o Katunayake Airport Expressway
    o Moragahakanda Irrigation Development Project
    o Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre

     

    Currently, there are more than 800 Sri Lankan students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at various universities in China. About 100 of these students are benefiting from scholarships provided by the Chinese Government. In recent years, many Sri Lankan students have received the opportunity to pursue higher studies in China through scholarships provided either by the Chinese Government or other organisations.

     

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to reiterate his Government’s commitment to "One China Policy" during meetings with high-level Chinese officials. (KH)

    Last modified on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 10:14

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