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Glimmers of Debt Deal for Sri Lanka Raises China Pressure

Protestors from the National People's Power (NPP) party demonstrating in July against the impact of the government's IMF-mandated debt restructuring plan on pensions in Sri Lanka. Image: Ishara S. Kodikara / AFP

Sri Lanka’s major creditors, including India, Japan, and France, are nearing a debt deal by mid-October, according to the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shinbun. However, there are serious questions as to whether China (one of Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral creditors) will be part of the deal.

This puts much pressure on Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s upcoming visit to Beijing to attend ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative. Wickremesinghe will reportedly discuss the debt issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the visit.

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