China confers top diplomat award on Sri Lankan

China confers top diplomat award on Sri Lankan

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At a presentation ceremony held on 24 January, Shani Calyanaratne Karunaratne, Deputy Ambassador for Sri Lanka in Beijing, received the prestigious title of “Silk Road Super Ambassador” in honour of her outstanding contribution to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The envoys of four other countries also received this honour. Karunaratne pointed out that the award not merely honoured herself, but also emphasised the special relationship that exists between China and Sri Lanka. Although they only established official diplomatic relations 62 years ago, friendly ties between New China and Ceylon (as it then was) began with the Rubber-Rice Pact of 1952. Links of trade, culture and diplomacy between the two countries stretch back two millennia, to when the Sri Lankan port of Godavaya was a entrepôt between China and the West.

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