Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka and China to 'stand by each other' in 2007
Feb 9, 2007 - 6:04:02 PM

Colombo, Feb 9 - Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka has said that Sri Lanka is China's friend and the two countries 'will always stand by each other.'

Addressing a reception on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka Thursday night, Wickramanayaka said the relationship of the two countries has grown from strength to strength in the last five decades.

'The relationship between our two countries which began many centuries ago is based on a secure foundation, the principles of Panchasila -,' said Wickramanayaka.

He stressed that Sri Lanka has remained steadfast and unequivocal with regard to its 'one China policy.'

The prime minister also thanked China for its economic assistance saying, 'you have continuously lent a helping hand to strengthen Sri Lanka's development efforts and you continue to do so.'

He hailed the declaration of year 2007 as Year of China-Sri Lanka Friendship by the two governments, saying Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse's forthcoming visit to China and a number of other activities will assist to consolidate the relationship further.

Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ye Dabo told the gathering that, 'China and Sri Lanka are time-honoured friends with amicable contacts in trade, culture and religion between the two peoples dating back to some 2,000 years ago.'

Ye said he was confident that 'with our concerted efforts, our friendship and cooperation will be upgraded to a higher level, which will eventually benefit both countries and peoples.'

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