President to visit China this month

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will pay an official visit to China this month, his second overseas visit since assuming office in November, a government source told media yesterday.

Rajapaksa will visit China upon an invitation by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who had extended the invitation through a special Chinese envoy who visited Sri Lanka last month.

During his visit, the two leaders are expected to discuss several matters of mutual interest, investments, tourism and strengthening bilateral cooperation. They are also likely to discuss the ongoing Chinese investments in Sri Lanka including the Hambantota Port, the source said.

President Rajapaksa had recently said that he would not renegotiate the Hambantota Port agreement with China as it was a commercial agreement but would look at ‘restructuring’ the agreement to ensure that the security of the port.

President Rajapaksa said China was also willing to discuss this matter and if additional clauses needed to be inserted to restructure the security deal, then the government would go ahead.