Chinese Ambassador in Colombo Qi Zhenhong on Thursday said that China will continue to firmly support Sri Lanka in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, getting rid of the “Poverty trap” and the “ non development trap”
Ambassador Qi said that China welcomes all countries including Sri Lanka aboard the express train of China’s development.“China’s contribution to global growth was over 30 percent in the past 10 years. However, China is still the largest developing country with a population of more than 1.4 billion”, the ambassador said He also urged all countries to respect each other, seek common ground while reserving differences, and work together to meet the challenges of our times and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
The envoy reminded how both Sri Lanka and China strongly supported each other to fight against the colonialism and imperialism. “Sri Lanka won its independence in 1948. One year later, on October 1st 1949, the New China was founded under the leadership of the Communist Party of China”, he said Ambassador Qi Zhenhong was speaking at a reception held at the Shangri La Hotel in Colombo on Thursday evening to mark 74th National Day of the Republic of China. Ports , Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva was the chief guest .
He added that over the past 74 years, China has made historic achievements. “The average life expectancy has increased from 35 to 78 years, a rapid growth of more than 120%. China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty and historically eradicated absolute poverty”, he said.
He said that China has always been committed to global peace and development. “China is the second largest contributor to the UN regular budget, and the largest troop-contributing country among the permanent members of the UN Security Council”, he added.
“Over the past ten years under the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation, more than 150 countries including Sri Lanka and 32 international organizations have made great progress in connectivity, infrastructure, trade, and investment, with about 3,100 joint projects bringing tangible benefits to the world.
Ports , Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva while thanking the People’s Republic of China for extending humanitarian assistance during the recent economic crisis said that Sri Lanka is the first few countries that recognize the People’s Republic of China .
He said that the two countries signed a historic agreement the Rubber – Rice Pact in 1952 before the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1957.
He also deeply appreciated the continuous support of China for the economic development of Sri Lanka.
“ The efforts of successive leaders of china who have guided the nation as well as the commitments made by the people of china through different stages of development made China reach the modern technological advancement”, he added
The Minister added that as a long standing friend of China, Sri Lanka is proud of China’s remarkable economic growth, during the past four decades. “China has successfully lifted nearly 700 million people out of poverty”, he said
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene Former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff General Shavendra Silva and senior military officers were present
pictures by:- Sulochana Gamage