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China Unphased by Report IMF May Circumvent Beijing on Sri Lanka Debt Relief

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the China Exim Bank presented its offer to provide Sri Lanka debt relief and will not make any further proposals on the issue at this time. Image via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sri Lankan debt restructuring seems to be hitting a stalemate, judging by Monday’s Foreign Ministry press briefing. Asked about a recent Bloomberg report that the IMF is considering circumventing Chinese approval in providing a relief deal to the bankrupt country, spokesperson Wang Wenbing basically restated China’s current position.

Wang repeated that China provided a debt repayment pause in 2022 and 2023 and said, “We are willing to use this window to negotiate a medium- and long-term debt disposal plan with Sri Lanka in a friendly manner, and do our best to promote Sri Lanka’s debt sustainability.” Sri Lanka’s other bilateral creditors like India have extended 10-year repayment pauses.

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