|Xi Jinping Arrives in Colombo Starting His Sate Visit to Sri Lanka|
On September 16 local time, President Xi Jinping arrived in Colombo, starting his state visit to Sri Lanka.
At around 11:40 am local time, Xi Jinping arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo by special plane. Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan were warmly received by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his wife.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa held a grand welcome ceremony at the airport. The national flags of China and Sri Lanka waved in the wind. The guard of honor saluted. Thousands of local people, dressed in splendid attire for festival, greeted the Chinese distinguished guests with the most ceremonious etiquette. While President Xi Jinping and his wife stepping down the ramp, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his wife stepped forward and both sides shook hands warmly with and greeted each other. When the drum and music sounded, the two heads of state and their wives walked slowly along the red carpet. Sri Lankan youth joyfully performed the national dance--Kandyan Dance and Sri Lankan children hailed "Welcome, welcome, warmly welcome" in Chinese. Mahinda Rajapaksa introduced Sri Lankan senior officials such as Foreign Minister and Petroleum Industries Minister to Xi Jinping.
The motorcade left the airport for the hotel, and was warmly welcomed by the enthusiastic masses along the kilometers-long road. Dozens of elephants were dressed with colorful decorations, symbolizing good luck. Teenagers stood at the both sides of the road. Some waved the national flags of the two countries; some held bouquets; and some, with their radiant smile, performed graceful dances with rich national customs. Colombo was permeated with the vibe of friendship.
Xi Jinping pointed out that today, as long as I set foot on the beautiful land of Sri Lanka, my delegation and I were grandly welcomed by the Sri Lankan President and his wife as well as the Sri Lankan people, which immersed us in the warm ocean of China-Sri Lanka friendship. I was deeply touched by it. China-Sri Lanka friendly exchanges enjoy a time-honored history and the two countries are good brothers sharing weal and woe, good partners seeking common development and good friends boasting intimacy. Currently, China and Sri Lanka offer each other sincere help and the long-lasting bilateral strategic cooperative partnership is standing at a new starting point with broad development opportunities. I expect to, together with Sri Lankan leaders, renew our friendship, jointly plan cooperation and blueprint bilateral relations. I hope this visit can carry forward the profound feelings between the two peoples and make the ship of China-Sri Lanka friendship ride the waves and wind and move forward on the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century.
Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and other delegation members arrived by the same plane.
H.E. Wu Jianghao, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, also greeted them at the airport.
Xi Jinping arrived in Colombo after concluding his state visit to Maldives.