Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (1st R) meets with Gamini Lakshman Peiris (1st L), presidential envoy and Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka in Beijing, capital of China, on Feb. 11, 2014.(Xinhua/Ding Lin)
BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- China on Tuesday voiced support for Sri Lanka as the United States spearheaded a third resolution on the country's human rights record to be presented before the United Nations Human Rights Council in March.
"China opposes some countries' interference in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka under the pretext of human rights issues," Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday during talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart, Gamini Lakshman Peiris, in Beijing.
China backs the Sri Lankan government in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Wang said. "We believe in the Sri Lankan people's wisdom and capacity to handle their own affairs."
Sri Lanka has come under heavy pressure from the West and human rights groups for alleged war crimes during the final months of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels, which began 30 years ago.
The rebels were defeated in May 2009, but human rights groups have alleged that thousands of civilians were also killed in the process, an allegation the government denies.
On bilateral ties, Wang hailed the stable growth of China-Sri Lanka ties as a model for friendly co-existence and win-win relations between states, saying the relationship has entered its best period in history.
He called on the two countries to expand maritime cooperation and build together a 21st-century Maritime Silk Road that connects the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic, an initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping during his Southeast Asia visit in October.
As presidential envoy, Peiris said China is an important partner to Sri Lanka and has provided a lot of assistance to its economic and social development, and expressed gratitude to China.
Sri Lanka supports the building of the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road and is willing to strengthen cooperation with China in all fields, Peiris said.
Peiris is visiting China from Monday to Thursday at the invitation of Wang.