China and Sri Lanka should gradually resume practical cooperation in various fields while ensuring the prevention and control of the COVID-19, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during a phone call on Wednesday.

President Xi said that the two countries should advance major cooperation projects in an orderly manner and work for high-quality development of the joint building of the Belt and Road, which will help Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.

China will provide Sri Lanka with firm support and assistance, Xi said, adding that the Sri Lankan people will surely overcome the epidemic at an early date.

President Xi thanked Sri Lanka for its timely support at the critical moment of China’s fight against COVID-19 and said that China would cooperate with Sri Lanka to support the World Health Organisation to continue playing a key role in the COVID-19 fight.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa appreciated China’s valuable support and assistance to Sri Lanka over the years, saying it helps to promote the country’s economic and social development.

The president added that Sri Lanka is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in the areas of economy and trade, tourism and infrastructure, and smoothly push forward major cooperation projects under the Belt & Road Initiative. Sri Lanka welcomes more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country, he said.

China handed over its first donation of Humanitarian Aid and Medical supplies to Sri Lanka in April, which includes 50,000 Medical Masks and 1,008 COVID-19 test kits.