President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Tells Chinse Defence Minister Wei Fenghe tht Sri Lanka Firmly Supports China’s Positions on Issues Concerning Its Core Interests Reports Chinese State Media

By Meera Srinivasan

Sri Lanka has prioritised developing relations with China and “firmly supports” China’s positions on issues concerning its core interests, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defence Wei Fenghe, according to Chinese state media.

The Sri Lankan President said his country “has been pursuing an independent foreign policy and will never bend to pressure from major powers outside the region as well as never forge an alliance with any country,” Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka and China vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation in all sectors, “including the military”. While specifics of the enhanced military ties are yet to emerge, Senior Sri Lankan Defence officials and the visiting Chinese delegation signed a ‘Military Assistance Protocol’, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement issued after the top Chinese official’s departure Thursday morning.

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