Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised his Sri Lankan counterpart Maithripala Sirisena full support in combating terrorism and boost the country's counter-terrorism capabilities, nearly a month after the massive Easter Sunday bombings.
He called on the two sides to maintain regular high-level communication, firmly grasp the general direction of friendly cooperation, and staunchly support each other, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
The two countries should steadily advance the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), promote cooperation in major projects, and accelerate livelihood projects to benefit the people of Sri Lanka, Xi said.
Sri Lanka is a major beneficiary of investment projects financed by China. One such investment project was the Hambantota port, which was leased to China Merchant Port Holdings Limited for 99 years for USD 1.12 billion in 2017. The deal, critics say, is an example of Beijing's so-called 'debt diplomacy'.
He also called for deepening security law enforcement cooperation and jointly addressing non-traditional security threats including terrorism.
A series of coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday rocked Sri Lanka, killing over 250 people and wounding 500 others. The attacks were the deadliest on the island nation since the end of its civil war 10 years ago, and targeted three churches as well as three luxury hotels in the capital, Colombo.
Thanking China for its long-term support, Sirisena said Sri Lanka always regards developing relations with China as a priority, and is willing to work with China to enhance Belt and Road cooperation, and deepen development and security cooperation.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)