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Rajapaksa begins China visit


Beijing : Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived here Monday hoping to enhance cooperation between the two countries in areas of trade, investment, science and technology and defence.

Rajapaksa is here on a four-day state visit on an invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping, reported Xinhua.

He is among the first few foreign leaders to visit China since the new Chinese leadership assumed office in March.

During his stay in China, Rajapaksa is expected to hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart as well as Premier Li Keqiang, according to the Sri Lankan President’s Office in Colombo.

The talks will centre on further enhancing cooperation between the two countries in areas of trade, investment, tourism, culture, science and technology, defence, and regional and international affairs.

The Sri Lankan president is also scheduled to attend the inaugural ceremonies of the Global Service Forum-Beijing Summit and the 2013 International Conference of Asian Political Parties.

Since the establishment of full diplomatic ties in 1957, Sri Lanka has continuously maintained close and friendly relations with China.

The two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements. China has emerged as one of Sri Lanka’s key development partners in the post-conflict period following the defeat of the Tamil Tigers.