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Home >> China
UPDATED: 09:06, March 01, 2007
China-Sri Lanka ties enter new stage, Premier says
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The relations between China and Sri Lanka have entered a new stage of comprehensive cooperation, said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao Wednesday.

Wen made the remarks while meeting with visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is visiting Beijing to mark the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

The two countries should "take the opportunity to consolidate traditional friendship and promote mutually beneficial cooperation", Wen said, calling for more reciprocal investments and cooperation in areas like agriculture, fishery, tourism, infrastructure and energy.

Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo held a separate meeting with Rajapakse on Wednesday, pledging further parliamentary exchanges to facilitate result-oriented trade cooperation and better bilateral relations.

The two countries signed eight agreements on economic cooperation, investment, movies, agriculture and eye corneas donation after President Hu Jintao held one-hour talks with Rajapakse on Tuesday.

Rajapakse, on his first China visit since taking office, vowed to enhance bilateral ties that have borne marked fruits.

Total trade volume between China and Sri Lanka reached 1.44129 billion U.S. dollars in 2006, increasing by 16.9 percent over the previous year. China exported 1.10646 billion U.S. dollars worth of goods and imported 34.83 million U.S. dollars worth of goods.

Rajapakse presented two corneas, a replica of a Buddha statue and a five-year-old male elephant to China as gifts for the 50th-year anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Besides Beijing, Rajapakse will also visit China's business hub Shanghai, Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province in south China, as well as central Hubei Province.

Source: Xinhua

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