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Sri Lanka Army

Defenders of the Nation

High Level Chinese PLA Delegation Offers Increased Opportunities for Sri Lanka Army

A high-level delegation of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the People’s Republic of China, the world’s largest military force, called on the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Thursday (13) morning at Army Headquarters.

The six-member Chinese delegation headed by Major General Qian Lihua, Chief of Foreign Affairs Office, Ministry of National Defence was accompanied to the Commander of the Army by Her Excellency, Ms Yang Xiuping, Ambassador for People’s Republic of China.

Major General Lihua during his exchange of views with the Commander of the Army assured his Army’s fullest cooperation to the Sri Lanka Army in several areas of its professional training, exercises and further promotion of military assistance to Sri Lanka on request.

The visiting Chinese Chief of Foreign Affairs Office during talks told the Commander, that the PLA, impressed with the progress hitherto made by Sri Lankan Army de-miners, expects to offer 100 more de-mining kits to the Army for further acceleration of their work as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation.

Touching on their possibilities for increased intakes of Sri Lankan trainee officers to military academies in China, the visiting military officer promised Sri Lanka of more and more such openings in the future once a request to this effect is channelled through the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

He reminded that Sri Lanka Army’s de-mining students were the only foreign contingent trained in China as at present because of the excellent relations that exist between both countries as well as the Armies. ‘We have assisted Sri Lanka in the past 25 years or more. In peacetime too, we wish to further extend our assistance in all spheres, Major General Lihua quipped.

World powers and Armies in the world have lot to learn from a tiny country like Sri Lanka and its professional Army on its road to defeat of terrorism, Lieutenant General Jayasuriya commented during the talks.

Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, speaking high of the commendable Chinese contribution to the Army right throughout as the major force behind the country’s Security Forces, invited the PLA to send in more of their trainee students for professional military courses offered by the Sri Lanka Army in order to receive wider exposure in defeat of terrorism. His request for closer PLA interaction in special military training programmes, such as the ‘Exercise Cormorant Strike’ every year by sending their representation, was positively responded by the visiting Chinese delegate during bilateral talks.

Major General Qian Lihua further pointed out that 23 out of all PLA’s 63 training establishments in China conduct military training courses exclusively for foreign students and Sri Lanka’s studentship could be further increased in the future in consultation with the Chinese defence authorities, considering the unprecedented high standards of professional conduct of the Sri Lankan Army which could serve as a beacon of hope for the countries, afflicted with menace of terrorism.

The visiting Army official noted that the PLA in the future will collaborate closely with the Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) at Diyatalawa and explore possibilities for further assisting the improvement of infrastructure facilities in the institute with the advanced technology in China.

Commander of the Army during the final leg of the meeting with the delegation thanked the visiting delegation for their keen interest in interacting closely with the Sri Lanka Army and its appreciation of the Sri Lankan Army’s contribution to world peace.

An exchange of mementos with several delegates culminated the cordial meeting after the Commander invited Major General Qian Lihua to sign the VIP book at Army Headquarters.

Senior Colonel Xu Hui, Director General of Translation Section Defence Studies College, National Defence University, Senior Colonel Zong Jiahu, Deputy Director General, Arms Control and Military Assistance Bureau, Ministry of National Defence, Colonel Tian Feng, Deputy Director Quarter Master and Equipment Research Institute, General Armament Department, Colonel Guo Hongtao, Staff Officer, Asian Affairs Bureau, Ministry of National Defence and Colonel Chang Jinfu, Deputy Chief of Staff, 6th Armour Division, Beijing Military Area Command were among others in the Chinese delegation.

Major General Qian Lihua before this appointment has served as Deputy Director General and Director General of General Planning Bureau, Ministry of National Defence and Deputy Chief of Foreign Affairs Office.