Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday sent a message to his Sri Lankan counterpart, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to congratulate Sri Lanka on the 70th anniversary of the nation’s independence from the British colonial rule in 1948.

In his message, Li said China attaches great importance to its relations with Sri Lanka.

Within the framework of the initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China wishes to consolidate the traditional friendship with Sri Lanka, strengthen mutual political trust, deepen practical cooperation and push bilateral relations to a new level, said Li.