Sri Lanka and China share excellent relations which have stood the test of time. It is an all-weather friendship based on mutual respect, the president said in the statement. "Looking back at 2014, I am pleased that the historic state visit to Sri Lanka of Chinese President Xi Jinping in September last year has provided us with the opportunity to further elevate our robust relationship and deepen the strategic cooperative partnership in a manner beneficial to our two countries and peoples," he said.

The President went on to say that Sri Lanka, as a close friend of China, has always celebrated the efforts that China has spearheaded in bringing prosperity and well-being to its people.

"2015 is the 'Year of the Goat' according to the Chinese Zodiac. This will be a year for enhancing relationships for further development," Xinhua reported quoting the President. (PRIU)