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China Observes But Doesn’t Participate in Sri Lanka’s Inaugural Debt Meeting

A vendor holds Sri Lankan bank notes while working at a market in Colombo on March 20, 2023. Cash-strapped Sri Lanka is seeking a 10-year moratorium on its foreign debt repayments. Ishara S. KODIKARA / AFP

Sri Lanka’s major bilateral creditors convened their first meeting on Tuesday, but the country’s largest bilateral lender, China, was in the room but only as an observer.

“If China decides to participate, we would welcome it,” Masato Kanda, Japan’s vice minister of finance for international affairs, said at a briefing late Tuesday in Tokyo. “We will continue to call on China to formally participate in the creditor countries’ meeting,” he said.

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