Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was in Shangai to attend a summit on Asian security, media reported.
During Rajapaksa’s visit to China in 2013, both countries implemented strategic and bilateral co-operation.
Calling Sri Lanka an important partner in building the 21st century maritime Silk Road and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Xi urged both countries to jointly work toward achievements in the maritime economy, port construction and maritime security.
The Chinese president pledged to maintain high-level exchanges and expand cultural links with Sri Lanka.
Xi also urged both countries to launch negotiations on a China-Sri Lanka free trade area (FTA) as soon as possible.
China supports its companies to invest in Sri Lanka, and has participated in cooperation projects regarding industrial parks, economic zones, power, highways and railways.
Rajapaksa vowed to facilitate maritime cooperation with China, step up FTA negotiation, infrastructure building and personnel exchanges as well as internet security cooperation.
The Sri Lankan president hailed the success of the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), and invited Xi to pay a state visit to Sri Lanka.