COLOMBO, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka and China pledged to strengthen bilateral cooperation when Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe met with Wang Jiarui, a senior official of the Communist Party of China (CPC) here on Thursday.
President Sirisena said Sri Lanka appreciates the assistance that China had offered over the past and the country will continue to strengthen friendly cooperation with China in various sectors. The president added that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is willing to deepen friendly exchanges with the CPC in a bid to promote the strategic partnership between the two countries.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka's new government attaches great importance to relations with China, and welcomes Chinese companies to invest in Sri Lanka. The prime minister hoped that exchanges and cooperation between Sri Lanka's United National Party and the CPC would add more momentum to bilateral relations.
Wang, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, said China highly values the development of friendly relations with Sri Lanka. He added that China would like to further coordinate development strategies and expand pragmatic cooperation with Sri Lanka, and welcomed Sri Lanka's participation in China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative.
Wang, who is here for a visit on Thursday and Friday, said the CPC is willing to strengthen exchanges with parties in Sri Lanka so as to consolidate bilateral relations and friendship between the two peoples.