COLOMBO, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China and Sri Lanka agreed on Friday to further advance their strategic cooperative partnership.
When meeting with Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said China and Sri Lanka have enhanced exchange of high-level visits over the two past years, and the two sides have expanded pragmatic cooperation and steadily pushed forward major projects within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, known as Belt and Road Initiative, were proposed by China in 2013 with the aim of building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka, and both sides should take this opportunity to further implement consensus reached by the leaders of both countries and jointly advance the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership, Yu said.
The Chinese top political adviser also expressed his hope that the two countries maintain the momentum of frequent exchange of high-level visits, enhance political consensus and boost mutually beneficial cooperation in such fields as ports and logistics among others.
China is ready to jointly construct the Belt and Road together with Sri Lanka, expedite the talks of bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and enrich their people-to-people exchanges, Yu said.
Both sides should strengthen communication and coordination on global and regional issues so as to build an international order safeguarding the interests of the developing countries, he added.
For his part, Karu appreciated China's support and help to Sri Lanka's socio-economic development, especially in the realms of medicare, education and culture.
The Sri Lankan Parliament supports the Belt and Road Initiative, and backs the FTA negotiations with China, he said.
Sri Lanka, which is striving to become a financial and shipping center in the Indian Ocean, is willing to actively participate in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and welcomes more investment from Chinese companies, Karu said.
On Friday, Yu also met with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.