The President made this statement when the visiting Minister of Defence and State Councillor of the People’s Republic of China General Chang Wanquan called on the President on Monday afternoon, at the official residence of the President.
President Sirisena, who recalled the long standing relations between Sri Lanka and China, appreciated the support extended by China towards the sovereignty and national security of Sri Lanka.
The President’s Media Unit reports that the President had also extended his gratitude to the Chinese government for the training opportunities provided to Sri Lankan security forces for a long time.
The President who commended the assistance provided to Sri Lanka by the Chinese government during the crucial stages of the war in the country, trusts that China will continue to train Sri Lankan security forces.
General Chang Wanquan, the visiting Chinese Minister of Defence said that a strong foundation has been laid for the betterment of the economy, society and the people’s welfare under the current President of Sri Lanka.
The visiting Chinese Minister of Defence also met with State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene.
The media were not permitted to cover the meeting, however the footage of the meeting was aired live on the official facebook page of State Minister Ruwan Wijewardene.
The visiting Minister of Defence and State Councillor of the People’s Republic of China General Chang Wanquan arrived in the country on the evening of March 19.
China has invested heavily in Sri Lanka in funding airports, roads, railways, ports and including the island nation on its “One Belt, One Road” mission to create a modern-day “Silk Road” across Asia.
In 2014, Sri Lanka permitted a Chinese submarine and a warship to dock at its port in the capital Colombo, sparking concern in New Delhi.
India has been concerned over China’s involvement in the Indian Ocean region.
After Sri Lanka, Chang will be travelling to Nepal, which serves as a natural buffer between China and India, challenging India’s long-held position as the dominant outside power in the landlocked nation.
Meanwhile, a Commemorative Ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and China was held in Colombo on the morning of March 20.
The event was held under the auspices of Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who was accompanied by Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Chandima Weerakkody.
The ceremony was graced by Her Royal Highness Princess Xu-Shi Yin’e, a descendant of the dynasty of King Parakramabahu IV of the Kotte Kingdom.