China asserts protests have not affected relationship with Sri Lanka

China today asserted that recent protests have not affected China’s relationship with Sri Lanka.

China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Yi Xianliang said that China will fully support Sri Lanka in education, science and technology.

“Yes there has been some noise. But this has not changed our friendship,” he said at an event held at the Chinese Embassy in Colombo today.

The Ambassador said that economic development is most important but is not enough and so China will continue its efforts to support Sri Lankan students to study in China and train in China.

“We will also have some joint universities in future,” he added.

A ceremony was held today at the Chinese Embassy to award Chinese Government Scholarships to Sri Lankan students.

“This is a very proud moment for us and I congratulate all these students. This is a scholarship directly from the Chinese government. Not from any university or private party. Chinese scholarships have a lot of requirements. Not only for Sri Lankan’s but for all other countries, the conditions and the terms are the same,” he said.

He said the students will be able to  stand as a symbol of friendship between China and Sri Lanka and also help develop the country.

“From 1000 years Chinese people and Chinese government we attach so much importance with the relations with Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the number one country who gets financial assistance from China. In donations and grants China donates at least 100 million dollars. We have so many projects here. Sri Lanka gets the most amounts of investments from China. In the education and training corporation also China provides the most support to Sri Lanka out of all other countries. Every year China more than 1300 Sri Lankan’s travel to China to study and undergo training programs. China also conducts special classes to Sri Lanka. Why China has continued to support since ancient times? It is because of our strong friendship. Sri Lanka and China are trusted friends. Yes there has been some noise. But this has not changed our friendship,” he said.

The Ambassador also said that he faces several criticisms by some people both in Sri Lanka and outside the island yet he will continue to discuss with Beijing and request more assistance for Sri Lanka.

He also said that Sri Lanka needs industrialization and an industrial zone is the best way forward.

“Sri Lanka has many giant projects, but how about human power? We need professionals. We need engineers, we need managers. So all students who study in China and when they come back they can easily find a job. Why? Becaue there are so many projects in Sri Lanka which are supported by the Chinese government and its people. We lack qualified professionals,” he said.

On the Hambantota Port the Ambassador said that some people say there will be around 500 jobs created but he feels the number should be 50,000. (Colombo Gazette)