China will continue to press for pragmatic co-operation with Sri Lanka under the Belt and Road Initiative in order to bring more tangible benefits to the people of the two countries, a Chinese diplomat said.
The remarks were made by Beijing’s Ambassador to Colombo Cheng Xueyuan at an event in Beijing on Wednesday evening marking the 69th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, reports Xinhua news agency.
Addressing a gathering, the envoy said over the past year pragmatic cooperation between China and Sri Lanka had developed rapidly, especially with the ongoing construction of the Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port, Moragahakanda Reservoir Project and the Extension of the Southern Railway.
He said tourism had also expanded between the two countries in recent years, with China now becoming Sri Lanka’s second largest source of tourists.
According to official figures, 260,000 Chinese tourists arrived in Sri Lanka in 2017 and this number was estimated to exceed 300,000 in 2018. More Sri Lankans were also travelling to China.