An entire range of defense cooperation has been reviewed by Sri Lanka and China during the recent visit of Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defense to Beijing, to participate in the second China - Sri Lanka Defense Cooperation Dialogue.
A delegation was led by the Secretary of Defense on the invitation of the Chinese Government to attend the 7th Xiangshan Forum on 10-12 October and the second China - Sri Lanka Defense Cooperation Dialogue from 12-15 October.
The second China-Sri Lanka Defense Cooperation Dialogue in Beijing was chaired by the Defense Secretary Hettiarachchi and Admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission (CMC), reports the Colombo Page.
During the dialogue, the two countries had in-depth exchange of views on South Asian situation, bilateral relations and exchanges and cooperation between the two militaries.
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense (MOD) said that the entire range of defense cooperation including high level exchanges, military assistance, training opportunities, collaboration between defense think tanks, intelligence cooperation, joint military exercises and participation in defense seminars, workshops and symposia was reviewed by the two Asian countries.
The delegations highlighted defense as an important pillar of cooperation in the overall bilateral relationship and agreed to continue to strengthen ties in this sphere.
Two agreements related to the provision of Chinese Yuan 120 million (Rs. 2.6 billion) worth of military assistance and the provision of an Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) to Sri Lanka were signed during the meeting at the conclusion of the Dialogue.
The Chinese Defense Official said, "The military-to-military relations serve as a cornerstone for bilateral relations, and the Chinese military is willing to continue to support Sri Lanka's defense and military development, and work with it to implement the consensus reached by Chinese president Xi Jinping and Sri Lanka President Sirisena."
Praising the long-standing friendship between Sri Lanka and China the Defense Secretary said that Sri Lanka stands ready to deepen mutually beneficial exchange and cooperation with China in multiple fields and increase mutual trust and coordination.
The Defense Secretary on behalf of the President and Minister of Defense of Sri Lanka extended an invitation to the Minister of National Defense of China to undertake an early visit to Sri Lanka to strengthen cooperation in the defense sector.
The Sri Lanka delegation to included Commander of the Air Force Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy, Chief of Staff of Navy Rear Admiral S S Ranasinghe, and Commandant Sri Lanka Army Volunteer Force Major General H C P Goonetilleke.
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