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Published on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 09:00
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XiJinping 410px 14 09 10The Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive on a two day official visit to Sri Lanka today (Sep. 16) on the invitation of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Chinese President will 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.

Speaking at a press briefing recently, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao has said that the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to Sri Lanka would be a milestone for the bilateral ties.

The ambassador added that Xi’s visit would be the first of Chinese president and it will set up a guideline and a blueprint for the future of the bilateral ties.

Wu said the two sides upgraded their ties to strategic cooperation partnership in May last year during Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tour in China.

He said the two nations have a history of friendly relations and in recent years, the two have seen massive cooperation projects.

The two countries have built high mutual trust in the world political arena, firmly backing each other on issues of core interests, said the ambassador.

President Xi’s visit is expected to further ENHANCE the Sino- Sri Lankan relations, said the Chinese ambassador.

A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) dialogue between the two countries is expected to start during Xi’s visit.

According to Chinese Ambassador Wu Jianghao China will sign more than 20 agreements with Sri Lanka during President Xi Jingping's visit to Sri Lanka on September 16. Chinese Ambassador in Colombo Wu Jianhao said the two governments will ink agreements forging closer cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and social arenas during the visit.

He said the finalized agreement over the construction of the Colombo Port city will be signed by the two sides. China Harbour Company Limited is investing over US$ 1.4 billion for this project under the first phase. Over 276 hecatres will be reclaimed from the sea by the Chinese company and one third of this land is developed by the Chinese company.

Speaking at a press briefing at the embassy in Colombo yesterday, the Ambassador said the total investment for the second phase of the project will be US$ 13 billion.

The Chinese Ambassador added that the Chinese company will attract investors from China and all over the world to develop this extent of land.

He said two third of this reclaimed land will be left for the Sri Lankan government to develop attracting investors locally and overseas. The Chinese envoy said the Ceylon Electricity Board and China Machinery Engineering Corporation will sign two agreements for the cooperation and transfer of technology over the maintenance and operation of coal power plant.

"China will send more engineers to Sri Lanka to train their Sri Lankan counterparts on the operation of the coal power plant," he said.

He said the two companies has had very close cooperation though technology transfer takes some time. The Ambassador said the problems arose at the coal power plant due to a communication gap between the Sri Lankan and Chinese engineers and accidents.

The envoy also said engineers were regularly trained over the operation and maintenance of the power plant.

He said Sri Lankan engineers refused to sit the examination which has to be passed at the conclusion of the training. The Chinese envoy added that this is the first visit by a President of China after a lapse of 28 years.

"This visit is historic and will chart the course and build a solid platform for the development of bilateral ties," he said.

He said China and Sri Lanka relations have improved rapidly and China has become Sri Lanka's second largest trading partner and second largest source of imports.

(With inputs from Asian Tribune)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 September 2014 09:00