Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday left the country on a four-day official visit to China during which he is expected to sign several bilateral agreements.

President Rajapaksa is visiting China on the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. This is Rajapaksa's first visit after the new leadership took power in China.

His visit from May 27-30 is expected to further boost the emerging close ties between the two countries helped by billions of dollars of aid and assistance provided by Beijing to Colombo to develop its infrastructure.

He is expected to sign several bilateral agreements on different fields during the visit. Ahead of the President's visit, China Development Bank last week announced to extend another USD 580 million development assistance to Colombo.

This is Rajapaksa's 6th visit to China since assuming the Sri Lankan presidency in 2005 and his first since 2011. Rajapaksa was among the first six heads of states that Chinese President Xi Jinping had called on the telephone since he was elected, Sri Lankan officials said.

China backed projects in Rajapaksa's constituency of Hambantota in the deep south of the island have already realised a sea port and the island's second international airport. China is also assisting Sri Lanka in various other infrastructure projects.


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