28th April 2021 21:29:40 Hours
Defence Secretary General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) together with a high level delegation of state officials, service chiefs and defence experts on the sidelines of the main itinerary had a fruitful discussion with the visiting Chinese delegation, led by the Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe this morning (28) at the Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo.
Chinese Ambassador in Colombo, His Excellency Qi Zhenhong and Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army, General Shavendra Silva, Navy and Air Force Commanders were also present at the discussion, representing the Sri Lanka's interests during the meeting.
Recalling long standing bilateral ties between two countries, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd) said China had been a historical ally of Sri Lanka across a multitude of avenues including Buddhism, trade, infrastructure development and global connectivity. The Defence Secretary also appreciated the recent supportive measures, extended by the Chinese government during the UNHRC resolution tabled against Sri Lanka.
“We are looking forward to working together with Sri Lanka to enhance practical cooperation and to promote bilateral relations to a greater extent,” said General Fenghe while highlighting the existing military ties between two countries.
Afterwards, General Fenghe launched the official website of the Chinese National Defence University Alumni Association of Sri Lanka at the invitation of the Defence Secretary and the Director General of Sri Lanka Customs and the Chairman and founding member of the Alumni Association Major General Vijitha Ravipriya (Retd).
The official signing of the Military Assistance Protocol between two countries also took place on the same occasion. The Defence Secretary and Tri Forces Commanders exchanged mementoes with the Head of the Chinese Delegation General Fenghe as symbolic gestures of goodwill and understanding and added memories to the occasion.
Deputy Chief of Joint Staff Department of People's Liberation of Army, Lieutenant General Shao Yuanming, Director General of Office for International Military Cooperation of Central Military Commission (CMC) Major General Ci Guowei, Deputy Director General of General Office CMC Major General Shen Fangwu, Assistant Chief of Staff of Southern Theatre Command of PLA Major General Hu Xianjun and Chinese Defence Hu Xianjun and Chinese Defence Attaché Senior Colonel Wan Dong, were also present during bilateral discussions before the Chinese delegation called on HE the President and Hon Prime Minister.