China, Sri Lanka pledge to strengthen military cooperation

Beijing, June 9 (IANS) China and Sri Lanka vowed to strengthen military cooperation as Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan met commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, in Beijing on Tuesday.

Hailing the traditional friendship between China and Sri Lanka, Chang said China was willing to work with Sri Lanka to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and to continue to advance practical cooperation, Xinhua news agency reported.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Sri Lanka last September, he and his Sri Lankan counterpart witnessed the signing of an action plan to deepen bilateral ties and strengthen their strategic cooperative partnership.

The first China-Sri Lanka defence cooperation dialogue was held in Beijing last year.

“China is willing to make full use of the dialogue, expand cooperation and exchanges in various fields and levels, and maintain the smooth development of military-to-military ties,” Chang said.

Perera expressed gratitude for China’s support and assistance to his country’s development, adding that practical cooperation between the two navies in such areas as personnel training had yielded fruitful results.

“I hope my visit will further strengthen the friendly ties between the two militaries,” Perera said.

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