President Xi Jinping spoke with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on the phone on the evening of 13 May.
President Xi noted the many heart-warming moves and active support from the Sri Lankan people from all walks of life to China at a critical moment of its fight against COVID-19. He pointed out that under the strong leadership of President Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka has effectively contained the spread of the virus. He reaffirmed China's commitment of firm support to Sri Lanka by helping where it can and in light of Sri Lanka's needs. Xi also expressed confidence in the ability of the Sri Lankan people to defeat the virus at an early date. He also thanked the Sri Lankan government and people for taking good care of Chinese citizens despite COVID-19. On its part, China will continue to protect the life and health of Sri Lankan citizens in China. He underlined China's readiness to work with Sri Lanka and the rest of the international community to give continued support for the leading role of the WHO and promote international cooperation on joint prevention and control. Together, the world will win the battle against COVID-19 and protect the life, health and safety of people of all countries.
Xi highlighted the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Sri Lanka based on sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship. The time-tested friendship and mutual trust between the two countries will grow only stronger through the joint fight against COVID-19. While ensuring good prevention and control of COVID-19, the two countries could gradually restore cooperation in various areas, steadily resume the major cooperation projects and take forward high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Such endeavors will contribute to the economic recovery of Sri Lanka.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa commended the remarkable leadership of President Xi Jinping, under which the Chinese people have successfully coped with COVID-19 with extraordinary ingenuity and strength. The two countries are long-standing friends and have maintained good cooperation in many areas. He noted that the Sri Lankan people will always remember with great appreciation China's strong support and assistance for Sri Lanka's social and economic development over the decades. He expressed admiration for President Xi Jinping's vision for a community with a shared future for mankind and endorsed the importance of supporting WHO's leading role in international cooperation against COVID-19. He expressed Sri Lanka's hope to strengthen cooperation with China in areas of economy, trade, tourism and infrastructure, smoothly advance the Colombo Port City and other key projects under the Belt and Road cooperation. He expressed welcome for more Chinese investment in the country. He also added that Sri Lanka will work with China towards a community with a shared future for mankind.