The first conference of the China-Sri Lanka Political Parties Belt and Road Consultation Mechanism was convened via video link on June 11, 2020. Song Tao, Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and leaders of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the United National Party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, as well as those from think tanks and the business community of the two countries, attended the virtual meeting themed “Working Together to Promote Economic Development and Improve People’s Lives Through Belt and Road Cooperation.”
Photos courtesy of IDCPC
Addressing the conference, Song indicated that China and Sri Lanka have been good friends and close partners for generations, always ready to extend helping hands to each other whenever needed.
Noting the recent telephone talk between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Song pointed out that the two leaders had reached important consensus on the joint fight against COVID-19, as well as advancing joint construction of the Belt and Road. He indicated that the CPC intends to implement the important consensus by the two state leaders together with political parties of Sri Lanka, and strengthen exchanges on governance, thus cementing the political and public opinion basis of the relationship between the two countries.
Song said, expanding bilateral Belt and Road cooperation will boost economic development of the two countries and bring more benefits to the two peoples, while noting that Sri Lanka is an important partner of China in the construction of the Belt and Road.
Song indicated that the CPC stands ready to cooperate with political parties of Sri Lanka to promote bilateral cooperation in fields across the board and contribute to the high-quality construction of the Belt and Road.
Participating leaders of Sri Lankan political parties showed their gratitude for China’s strong support of Sri Lanka’s epidemic prevention and control, as well as its economic and social development and also emphasized the deep emotional bond between peoples of the two countries. They expect more cooperation and exchanges with the CPC and cherish the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, ready to contribute to the new progress of the Belt and Road construction and the joint building of a community with a shared future.
At the conference, participants from think tanks and the business sector also exchanged views on such topics as the digital economy, online education, financing, and health care in bilateral cooperation.
The conference passed the China-Sri Lanka Political Parties Joint Statement in Support of High-Quality Belt and Road Cooperation.
The following is the full text of the joint statement.
CHINA-SRI LANKA POLITICAL PARTIES JOINT STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF
HIGH-QUALITY BELT AND ROAD COOPERATION
(June 11, 2020)
On June 11, 2020, we, leaders or representatives from the Communist Party of China, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, the United National Party, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, and the Communist Party of Sri Lanka as well as those from think tanks and the business community of the two countries convened for the first conference of the China-Sri Lanka Political Parties Belt and Road Consultation Mechanism. Focusing on the theme of “WORKING TOGETHER TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVE PEOPLE’S LIVES THROUGH BELT AND ROAD COOPERATION,” we held friendly consultations on issues relating to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, alleviation of the impact of COVID-19, and restoration of economic development.
We warmly welcome and endorse the Belt and Road Initiative, together with the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind envisaged by President Xi Jinping. We are of the view that the China-Sri Lanka Belt and Road cooperation over recent years has substantially deepened bilateral practical cooperation in various fields, with strong impetus given to the development of social initiatives and people’s livelihood in Sri Lanka, which consequently represents a positive contribution to the wellbeing of our two peoples and to the prosperity and stability of our region. We have hereby reached consensus on the following issues relating to the advancement of China-Sri Lanka Belt and Road cooperation:
I. For our two countries and our region at large, devoting active efforts to promote Belt and Road cooperation amid the day-to-day COVID-19 response takes on an even greater practical significance for the restoration of economic and social development, the maintenance of production and supply chains stability, the realization of more balanced and sustainable growth and the advancement of the people’s wellbeing.
II. We welcome political parties of our two countries to actively undertake their responsibilities and put their role of political guidance into better play to broaden consensus among all sectors of our two countries, thus creating enabling conditions for China-Sri Lanka Belt and Road cooperation.
III. Adhering to the principle of candor, trust-building and closer party-to-party communication, needs to be further pursued to provide impetus to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and Sri Lanka through friendly consultation.
IV. Bearing in mind that prospects of Belt and Road cooperation hinge on the ongoing identification of new areas of cooperation, we call on political parties of our two countries to work together to build a “Silk Road for Health” to better protect people’s health and safety of our two countries and jointly safeguard regional and global public health security. We also need to devote efforts to build the digital Silk Road, which can develop new growth areas for the economic development of both China and Sri Lanka and that of our region.
V. Welcoming and appreciative of the China-Sri Lanka Political Parties Belt and Road Consultation Mechanism, we have agreed that the mechanism remains open to all political parties in Sri Lanka and all stakeholders in the Belt and Road cooperation. We undertake to brief competent Belt and Road authorities of our respective countries on the outcome of this conference to perform better service to high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
VI. We thank the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China for everything it has done to make this conference a success and look forward to the second conference to be convened at an appropriate time.