COLOMBO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka and China on Monday agreed to cooperate in developing sports between both countries.
The agreement was reached during bilateral talks held between the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee and Minister of the General Administration of Sports in China, Liu Peng and Sri Lanka's Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage.
Liu noted during the discussions that both Sri Lanka and China already enjoy strong ties in sports and he hoped those ties can expand further.
He also said that China has included in its 2012 budget funds to be allocated for Sri Lanka to purchase several sports equipment.
The Chinese minister said that he was happy to see the development of wushu in Sri Lanka with Chinese assistance.
He also agreed to consider a request from Sri Lanka to coach Sri Lankan sportsmen and women in selected sports before the next South Asian Games to be staged in India next year.
Aluthgamage said that Sri Lanka aims to top the medals tally during the South Asian Games and he sought Chinese assistance to achieve that goal.
"We want the best coaches from China and we are ready to pay for that as well. We have identified 10 sports where we need urgent assistance including athletics, swimming, table tennis and gymnastics," Aluthgamage told the Chinese minister.
Sri Lanka also sought financial assistance to build a new high altitude training centre in the central hills of Nuwara Eliya either through a Chinese loan or a direct investor.
Aluthgamage also offered to coach China in the sport of cricket, a game which is hugely popular in Sri Lanka after the island nation won the World Cup in 1996 beating Australia in the final.
Aluthgamage said that Sri Lanka can send cricket coaches to China and train budding cricketers there or offer training in Sri Lanka at a local cricket academy.
The Chinese minister welcomed the offer and both countries agreed to have further discussions on the proposals.