China, Sri Lanka celebrate 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties

A grand reception was held in Beijing on Wednesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic relations.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse attended the occasion.

Regarding the two countries as good friends with a profound history of exchanges, Jia said the two governments and peoples always respect and help each other.

"Our friendship is nurtured by leaders of generations and cultivated by personages from different circles of the two countries," Jia said, calling for the two sides to cherish the friendship.

Rajapakse said that bilateral friendship remains steadfast despite changes and conflicts in the world.

"The Chinese people, as our sincere friend and relatives, always stand with us," he said, expressing appreciation for China's support and help.

"We are ready to join hands with China to promote our friendly relations up to a higher stage," the 62-year-old president said.

China and Sri Lanka forged diplomatic ties on Feb. 7, 1957. The two countries decided to set 2007 as the Year of China-Sri Lanka Friendship.

Jia said this decision represents the common aspiration of the two governments and peoples to strengthen friendship and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. It also brings about new opportunities to the growth of bilateral ties, he added.

"We would like to work together with Sri Lanka to implement the consensus reached by the two state leaders, cement all-round cooperation and further promote bilateral comprehensive cooperative partnership," he said.

Hundreds of representatives from various circles of the two countries attended the reception.

Source: Xinhua

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