Fri, 09 Jun 2023

Colombo [Sri Lanka], July 3 (ANI): Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs GL Peiris met with the Ambassador of China Qi Zhenhong in Colombo, Sri Lanka and discussed the ongoing economic crisis in the Island nation.

The meeting that took place between Sri Lankan FM and the Chinese Ambassador was held on June 30. Minister Peiris appreciated China's continued assistance to Sri Lanka. The Foreign Minister also apprised the Ambassador of the current situation in the country and the shortage of fuel, food and pharmaceutical equipment which have adversely affected the economy of Sri Lanka.

The Minister added that bilateral partners and international agencies are in regular discussions to address these challenges. The Foreign Minister assured the Chinese Ambassador that Sri Lanka will continue to stand by 'One China'policy and pledged Sri Lanka's unwavering support to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Minister mentioned that he held discussions with the leaders of 12 countries on the current situation in terms of Sri Lanka on the flanks of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda and the assistance required by Sri Lanka at this critical juncture.

He briefed the Ambassador on the ongoing discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance as well as restructuring (reformulating) Sri Lanka's debt as well as the measures that are put in place by the government to address the most pressing issues.

The Chinese Envoy appreciated Sri Lanka's position and its consistent stance on the 'One China' policy.

Ambassador Qi assured that the Chinese Government would remain engaged with Sri Lanka towards extending assistance to Sri Lanka in every possible manner. Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and officials of the Chinese Embassy were present at the meeting.

In the meeting, the Sri Lankan FM said that Colombo continues to support the "One China" policy, said a press release by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The One-China Principle is the foundation stone for the Chinese government's policy on Taiwan where China insists Taiwan is its inalienable part. Taiwan and mainland China have been governed separately since the defeated Nationalists retreated to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war of the 1940s.

However, China's ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) views the self-ruled island as part of its territory -- despite having never controlled it. Beijing says it will use force, if needed, to unite the two sides.

The issue of Taiwan has been at the forefront of US-China relations in recent months.Tensions between Washington and China increased after the US said it is committed to supporting the Taiwan's self defence. (ANI)

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