Sri Lanka looks to China to develop sports infrastructure

Colombo: A Chinese delegation will be visiting Sri Lanka later this week to explore opportunities to develop sports infrastructure in the island nation.

A statement by the Sri Lankan Sports Ministry Wednesday said China`s top sports official Liu Peng will visit the country for a brief tour starting September 23, reports Xinhua.

The visit comes at a time when Sri Lanka is trying to change its image by hosting the 12-nation World Twenty20 cricket tournament.

"Since China is a fast moving nation in the field of sports in the world, it is expected to discuss the possible ways of cooperation with the Ministry to obtain the knowledge and experience, training activities, foreign coaches and to get the equipment, which required at the provincial sports complexes from China," the media release stated.

The sports ministry said that it would seek assistance from China to construction of a High Altitude Training Centre in Nuwara Eliya.

Sri Lanka will also press for implementing a long-term cooperation to develop sports in the country with China State General Administration of Sports.

This is the third high profile visit made by a Chinese official to Sri Lanka in the space of five weeks and comes at a time with China`s top legislator Wu Bangguo is wrapping up a visit.

The two countries Monday inked 16 agreements in defence, ports, external affairs and other funding matters during the tour.

Relations between the two countries are getting stronger with China emerging as Sri Lanka`s largest loan provider since the end of a three-decade civil war in 2009.