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China and Sri Lanka to strengthen defence ties

Sri Lanka and China have vowed to strengthen defence ties, Xinhua reports.

Sri Lanka's Defence Secretary, Kapila Waidyaratne, said China had always been a valuable partner of Sri Lanka and the two nations had enjoyed diplomatic relations for 61 years, supporting each other in the regional and international sphere while making efforts to deepen pragmatic cooperation.

The Defence Secretary was chief guest at a reception at the Chinese embassy in Colombo, celebrating the 91st founding anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

He said China's assistance in providing military equipment and technology to Sri Lanka indicated the success of the bilateral military relationship between the two nations.

He further said Sri Lanka was grateful to China for all the aid it had provided and the unconditional and open-ended support it had provided for strengthening Sri Lanka's security forces.

Xu Jianwei, Senior Colonel at the Chinese Embassy said China's armed forces will continue to develop military-to-military relations that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party.

"China is willing to enhance mutual strategic trust and is keen to see both countries continue supporting each other on issues of core interest."

"China wishes to boost the development of the Belt and Road Initiative to strengthen the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries and the two militaries," he said.

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