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Joint Press Communique of the People's Republic of China and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

ImageAt the invitation of His Excellency Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka paid a state visit to the People's Republic of China from 26th February to 4th March 2007.

During the visit, President Rajapaksa held talks with President Hu Jintao, and met with Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council, Xu Yongyue, Minister of State Security and leading officials from other Ministries.

In Beijing, President Rajapaksa and Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference attended the reception celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the "China-Sri Lanka Friendship Year". President Rajapaksa also visited Shanghai, Guangzhou and the Three Gorges.

3. In a friendly atmosphere, the two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest and reached broad consensus.

The two sides, agreed that in the 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China -Sri Lanka relations have continued to strengthen despite changes in the international environment and enjoyed healthy and smooth growth, serving as a model of good relations among small and big countries. The development of China - Sri Lanka good neighbourly and friendly relations not only serves the common interests of the two peoples but also contributes to the peace, stability and development in the region.

4. The two sides noted with satisfaction the positive progress achieved in all Areas of cooperation including political affairs, economic and trade relations, culture, tourism and education. The two sides would make joint efforts to push forward their all-round cooperative partnership of sincere mutual support and ever-lasting friendship.

5. The year 2007 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and is designated as ?China-Sri Lanka Friendship Year?. The two sides agreed to organize a series of activities to further increase friendly exchange, consolidate traditional friendship strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and promote the China-Sri Lanka All -round Cooperative Partnership to an even higher level, including high level visits in different areas of activities.

During the visit, the Sri Lankan President presented to the Chinese people a stone replica of a 3rd century Sri Lanka Samadhi Buddha statue to be placed at the Linggang Temple. The two sides welcomed increased exchanges in respect of Buddhist activities including at the World Buddhist Forum held in Hangzhou. The relevant departments of the Chinese Government would look carefully into the proposal of the Sri Lankan side on establishing an International Buddhist Zone in Sri Lanka and would be ready to maintain communication with the Sri Lankan side on this matter.

The President also gifted a baby elephant to the Beijing Zoo, and eye corneas to the Chinese Red Cross.

The Chinese side extended gratitude for these friendly gestures, and considered them demonstrations of the warm friendship of the Sri Lankan Government and people to the Chinese Government and people.

6. The Sri Lankan side reiterated its consistent position that there is only one China in the world, that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. Sri Lanka remains firmly committed to the one China policy opposes any form of ?Taiwan independence? including ?de jure independence? and opposes participation of Taiwan in any international and regional organizations which are composed of sovereign states. Respecting each other's major concerns. Sri Lanka will not develop any official link with Taiwan and supports all efforts by the Chinese Government to achieve national reunification. The Chinese side highly appreciates the above position of Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan side briefed the Chinese side on the domestic situation in Sri Lanka and the action being taken, in the interests of peace and harmony, against terrorism. The Chinese side reaffirmed that it would continue to support Sri Lanka in its efforts to safeguard the country's sovereignty, national unity and territorial integrity against terrorist forces. They welcome the positive steps taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to reach a peaceful resolution of ethnic issues through negotiations.

The two sides resolved to fight tirelessly against the three evil forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism and will step up consultation and coordinating on regional and international counter terrorism action.

7. The two sides emphasized that expanded economic cooperation and trade would be conducive to the common progress and prosperity of the two countries and that bilateral economic cooperation and trade should be further strengthened by fully tapping potential and seeking new ways on the basis of the current cooperation. To this end, the two sides agreed to consider practical steps during the next session of the Joint Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation, including on encouraging Chinese trading companies to be more involved in the purchase of Sri Lankan items.

Understanding the desire and request of the Sri Lanka Government for infrastructure improvement and economic development, the Chinese side expressed readiness to give positive consideration to facilitating the financing of relevant projects.

The Sri Lankan, side expressed its deep gratitude for assistance given through technical support and financial facilities for major infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka including the Puttalam Coal Power Project on which work has commenced, and other infrastructure projects and supplies on which decisions have been already taken. It was noted that discussion have proceeded on the Hambantota Development Zone which includes harbour development: a bunkering system and tank farm and that positive progress had been made between the Chinese companies concerned and the Sri Lankan authorities. The Chinese side assured it would encourage and facilitate financial institutions to effectively examine feasibility reports and other aspects on the priority project to enable its early commencement.

8. The Sri Lankan side thanked the Chinese side for its support of Sri Lanka's economic and social development over the years and its generous assistance offered in the aftermath of tsunami.

The Chinese side expressed readiness to continue with its assistance for Sri Lanka's economic and social development to the best of its ability. The Chinese side would encourage greater market access to Sri Lanka exports in China to reduce the present trade deficit with Sri Lanka.

9. The two sides agreed to further strengthen the exchange and cooperation in culture, tourism, education and other areas.

They agreed to take steps for the implementation of the Agreement signed in September 2005 with the Chinese National Tourism Authority for tourism promotional activities. They welcomed the establishment of the Confucius Centre at Kelaniya University in Sri Lanka and resolved to facilitate greater student exchanges for the promotion of the Chinese and Sinhalese languages in the two countries. The Chinese side would provide 104 scholarships to Sri Lankan students for the 2007-2008 academic year.

10. The two sides expressed satisfaction at their good cooperation in regional and international affairs. The Chinese side welcomed Sri Lanka's formal participation in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 2007. The Sri Lankan side welcomed China's association with the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as an observer. The two sides expressed their willingness to further increase their consultation and coordination in regional and international affairs.

11. The following Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were signed during the visit.

i. Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

ii. Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Construction of the People's Republic of China and the Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

iii. Agreement between City of Guangzhou of the People's Republic of China and District of Hambantota of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the Establishment of Friendship City Relationship.

iv. Memorandum of Understanding on Two-way Investment Promotion Cooperation between the Investment Promotion Agency of the Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China and the Board of Investment of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

v. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Film Industry between the Film bureau of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the People's Republic of China and the National Film Corporation, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

vi. Memorandum of Understanding for the Donation of Eye Corneas and Promotion of Cooperation, Exchanges, Technical and Technology Transfer between the Red Cross Society of China and the Eye Donation Society of Sri Lanka.

vii. Memorandum of Understanding between the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Mechanization Sciences and Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

viii. Memorandum of Understanding on Academic Exchange between Beijing Foreign Studies University of the People's Republic of China and University of Kelaniya of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

12. Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa expressed his heart-felt thanks to the Government and the people of the People's Republic of China for the warm hospitality accorded to him and the Sri Lankan delegation. President Rajapaksa invited President Hu Jintao to visit Sri Lanka. President Hu Jintao thanked Rajapaksa for the invitation and expressed his willingness to visit Sri Lanka at a time of mutual convenience.




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