On August 3, 2016, the ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, Sri Lankan minister of planting industry Navin Dissanayake and the delegation he led, attended the press conference. The purpose of the visit is to promote the Sri Lanka’s black tea exports to China and to attract more Chinese investors. The minister also made a statement of Sino-Indian and Sino-Japanese relations and claimed that Sri Lanka is willing to be the buffer between China and India for the peace of the region.
Sri Lanka’s planting industry minister Navin Dissanayake said in his speech that China and Sri Lanka are like brothers helping each other and Sri Lanka will always affirm the One China principle. Historically, Sri Lanka is China’s trading partner since the ancient times, as well as an important hub of the ancient Silk Road in the sea. Nowadays, China’s “One Belt One Road” strategy will rebuild Sri Lanka as the global shipping and trade center. Politically, Sri Lanka is the first non-communist country to admit People’s Republic of China. Economically, in recent years, Sri Lanka’s tea export to China has been growing steadily. The amount of exports reached 7.2 million kilograms, which proves China’s position as the main sales market of Sri Lanka’s black tea.
The minister also mentioned about Sino-Indian and Sino-Japanese relations at the conference. He said, India is Sri Lanka’s largest neighbor. In spite of certain disputes between China and India, Sri Lanka is maintaining good relations with both countries. Sri Lanka will not take side on political issues, but expect to act as the buffer and medium to ease the tension between China and India. In terms of Sino-Japanese relation, the minister hopes that two sides can settle the argument peacefully and commit to the regional development together.