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Monday, 19 November 2012

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'Sino-Lanka ties at all time high'

The multi - faceted relations enjoyed by Sri Lanka and China are at an all time high, Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka Wu Jianghao said. He said since the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka in 2009, China's investments here has grown rapidly and bi-lateral economic cooperation stands at over US $ 5 billion.

The ambassador said during the recent visit to Sri Lanka by National People's Congress of China Standing Committee chairman Wu Bangguo, the two countries signed several investment agreements worth over US $ 2 billion.

He said friendly relations spanning over 1,600 years between the two countries will continue

to grow exponentially in economic, political, cultural, social and other spheres and added China will continue to be Sri Lanka's reliable and trusted friend.

Ambassador Wu Jianghao was delivering a lecture on the just concluded 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the BMICH on Saturday.

Commenting on the leadership change in the party and its future path, the ambassador said under its new leadership, the CPC will continue to follow its own path of reform and development, instead of copying models from other countries, despite some Western countries noting that China has not done enough on reforms.

The ambassador said it was only China which knew of economic development and institutional reform that suits the country best.

He said CPC members always believe that a country should independently chart its own development path and experiences from other countries can be used for reference but not blindly copied. He said China in the coming years will play a bigger role in international socio - economic affairs whilst supplementing peace and prosperity worldwide.

Highlighting some of the achievements by China in the economic sphere, the ambassador said during the past 10 years, China had risen from sixth to be the second largest economy in the world.

China's foreign reserves during the period grew to be the world's number one. China also became world number two in trade imports, he said.

Noting that China's per capita GDP was around US $ 5400 at present, the ambassador said one of the goals set out by the CPC was to double this by 2020 to surpass US $ 10,000.

The ambassador said whatever the speed and scope of China's development, it would not be at the expense of the environment and added that protecting nature has been outlined as one of the key priorities by the CPC.

Wu Jianghao said the goal of "building a moderately prosperous society' meant that development will be people-centric and wholesome to ensure equity of access to employment, health, education and other sectors and to up the living standards of the public. The ambassador said China will not revert to the past rigid policies of a controlled economy but will continue to gradually usher reforms and opening up at a pace compatible with the country's requirements.

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