BEIJING (AP) – China expressed support for Sri Lanka ahead of a meeting tomorrow of government lenders to poor economies.
Chinese officials are due to attend a meeting of lenders organised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Paris Club of government creditors.
The Paris Club, after announcing last week assurances on working with Sri Lanka, said, “The Paris Club members as well as Hungary and Saudi Arabia urged other official bilateral creditors, including China, to do the same in line with IMF programme parameters as soon as possible.”
The island nation of 22 million people ran out of foreign currency last year. That triggered power cuts, food shortages and protests that forced a president and prime minister to resign.
China is “willing to work with relevant countries and international financial institutions to continue to play a positive role to help Sri Lanka get over current difficulties,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.
Wang repeated an earlier official statement that China supported Sri Lanka’s application for an IMF loan and would help its government ask for help from commercial and other creditors.
“We are in direct discussions with China,” President Rani Wickremesinghe said last week in a speech to Parliament. “We are now working towards unifying the approaches of other countries and that of China.”