Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

After Months of Delay, China Finally Begins Debt Restructuring Talks With Sri Lanka

Brad Setser is a former U.S. Treasury Department official who is now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe informed the country’s parliament late last week that China had finally agreed to begin long-desired debt restructuring talks. During a recent visit to Tokyo, President Wickremesinghe also called on Japan, Sri Lanka’s other main creditor in addition to China and India, to co-chair a creditors’ committee as part of an effort to finalize debt restructuring with all of its creditors by mid-2023.

But it’s not going to be easy, given that none of Sri Lanka’s major Asian bilateral creditors appears to be prioritizing debt relief. Brad Setser, a prominent U.S. scholar on debt issues who is also a former U.S. Treasury Department official and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, reflected on the challenge Colombo faces in a multi-part Twitter thread:

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.