COLOMBO, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka and China have vowed to strengthen defense ties at a reception held here at the Chinese embassy to celebrate the 91st founding anniversary of the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary, Kapila Waidyaratne, who was the chief guest at the Monday evening event, said China had always been a valuable partner of Sri Lanka and the two nations had enjoyed diplomatic relations for 61 years, supporting each other in the regional and international sphere while making efforts to deepen pragmatic cooperation.
Waidyaratne said China's assistance in providing military equipment and technology to Sri Lanka indicated the success of the bilateral military relationship between the two nations.
He further said Sri Lanka was grateful to China for all the aid it had provided and the unconditional and open-ended support it had provided for strengthening Sri Lanka's security forces.
Senior Colonel at the Chinese Embassy in Colombo, Xu Jianwei, said the Chinese military attaches great importance to improving relations with the Sri Lankan military and in the past few years, the two militaries had witnessed the deepening communication and cooperation in the areas of personnel training, joint training and maritime security.
He said China adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace and development and will always be a contributor to a shared future for mankind.
Xu further said China's armed forces advocate a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, and will continue to develop military-to-military relations that are non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against any third party.
"China is willing to enhance mutual strategic trust and is keen to see both countries continue supporting each other on issues of core interest."
"China wishes to boost the development of the Belt and Road Initiative to strengthen the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries and the two militaries," Xu said.