Chinese Defence Minister Chang to call on President Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil today

Updated: 11:30 GMT, Mar 20, 2017 | Published: 06:29 GMT, Mar 20, 2017 |

Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan who is on a three-day official visit to the island, at the invitation of Ministry of Defense of Sri Lanka, calls on President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil  Wickremesinghe today (March 20).

Chang Wanquan and a delegation of twenty-one members arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday evening.

The delegation will have high level talks with the Sri Lankan officials.

The Chinese Defense Ministry said the purpose of the visit to Sri Lanka is to strengthen military ties with Colombo.

China is vying to increase its influence in Nepal, which serves as a natural buffer between China and India, challenging India’s long-held position as the dominant outside power in the landlocked nation.

China has also invested heavily in Sri Lanka, funding airports, roads, railways and ports, and including the island nation of 21 million people on its “One Belt, One Road” mission to create a modern-day “Silk Road” across Asia.