China and Sri Lanka's joint work to build a "21st-century Maritime Silk Road" aims at peace and friendship, and China holds an open attitude to other countries seeking involvement in this initiative, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.
Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris visited China from Monday to Thursday and held talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, agreeing on cooperation to build a 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, or regional infrastructure designed to boost international maritime business.
"Our cooperation will range from maritime connectivity, the economy, technology, rescue and environmental protection to disaster mitigation and fishery," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.
Sri Lanka expressed enthusiasm toward this and is willing to enhance relevant partnerships, Hua added.
China hopes to realize common development and prosperity of our region through cooperation, just as countries learned from each other along the ancient Silk Road, she said.
Hua stressed the initiative is open and welcomed suggestions from other countries to perfect it.
China and Sri Lanka reached important consensus on starting Free Trade Agreement discussions during Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's visit to China in May, 2013, Hua said, adding that the two countries plan to upgrade their bilateral economic and trade ties.
They are currently undertaking feasibility studies and look forward to starting the negotiations at an early date, according to the spokeswoman.