Sri Lanka hopes China will assist to restructure the external debt

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe will visit China on October 16, 17 and 17 and hold talks with Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping, Daily Mirror reported.

The visit comes at a time when Sri Lanka remains engaged with China on the restructuring of its bilateral debts. China is the largest bilateral creditor to Sri Lanka. Debt restructuring is part of the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tide over the economic crisis.

This is the first time Ranil has undertaken a tour of China after he assumed office last year. The President has already visited countries such as Japan and India on official levels.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry said earlier that Sri Lanka hopes that China will assist the country in its bid to restructure the external debt in the ongoing negotiations on Monday.

Sabry said negotiations have been progressing well with the Chinese, as they are believed to hold over 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s external debt.

Sri Lanka has had several rounds of talks with the Chinese authorities.

The Chinese are taking part as observers in the platform created by the Paris Club of Creditors along with India and Japan.

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