The newly appointed Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong
presented his credentials to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the President’s House today (19).
During the brief cordial discussion with the Chinese Ambassador following the ceremony President
Rajapaksa expressed his satisfaction over the long-standing and lasting cooperation and friendship
with mutual benefits between Sri Lanka and China.
“China extended its support towards Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development, especially after winning
the war against separatism. Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port, Southern Expressway are some of
such initiatives. Some segments of the society criticized this cooperation between China and Sri
Lanka. Their argument was that these projects would not bear fruits. But the truth is the opposite.
Projects started with the assistance of China have high income generation and employment creation
potentials. My expectation is to see the full completion of these projects before the end of my tenure”
President stated that Sri Lanka has made it a priority to attract investments instead of further foreign
borrowings in its development drive. “There are vast investment opportunities available in our
country. Agricultural sector, Communication Technology and education are special among them.
Livelihood of around 30% of the population of Sri Lanka depends on rural agriculture. Achieving the
kind of rural development that China has reached over the past two or three decades and to improve
the living standards of the rural population in Sri Lanka is one of my prime objectives. We seek your
assistance in this regard,” President told the new Ambassador.
In response, Ambassador Zhenhong said that his government is ready to make the maximum
possible contribution to the success of Sri Lanka’s economic and social development endeavors.
Extending President Xi Jinping’s good wishes to President Rajapaksa, the Chinese envoy said he aims
to further enhance long-standing friendship between the two countries and to strengthen
development and strategic cooperation. “After assuming office, you united the people of Sri Lanka.
You guided the country on the path of economic growth while improving the living standards of the
people. We witnessed how the government and the people of Sri Lanka stood together in the face of
the COVID 19 pandemic,” the new Ambassador said. He also said that China wishes to see Sri Lanka
emerge as a prosperous nation.
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardene, Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Foreign
Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Deputy Head of the Chinese Embassy Hu Wei and the Head
of the Political Division Luo Chong were also present on the occasion.