Sri Lanka is set to increase its diplomatic strength in China to project itself better and further the special relationship between the two countries, foreign minister, Rohitha Bogollagama said on Tuesday.
At a meeting with visiting vice-governor of the Yunan province, Gao Feng, Bogollagama said that Sri Lanka was keen to increase its diplomatic representation in China. He said: "Following the setting up of the Consulate in Shanghai, Sri Lanka was also planning to open another consulate in Chengdu by October this year."
The announcement comes at a time when a keen India has promised Sri Lanka every kind of help in its post-war reconstruction in the north. India has already announced a Rs. 500 crore aid package for Sri Lanka. It is also helping Sri Lanka in a number of smaller projects like setting up of a road rail project in the east.
During the discussions, Foreign Minister Bogollagama referred to the special relationship shared by Sri Lanka and China and stated that it was a special “friendship between a small country and a big country”.
He appreciated the support extended by China to Sri Lanka in various international and multilateral fora and recorded the assistance rendered by China for Sri Lanka’s infrastructure developments such as roads, electricity among others.
China is also building a port for Sri Lanka at the southern coastal town of Hambantota, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s hometown.
Bogollagama also requested Feng to consider operating flights from China to Sri Lanka in order to promote tourism between the two counties and assured the support of Sri Lanka in order to achieve this objective.