COLOMBO (Reuters) – China supports crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s decision to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to restructure its debt, Beijing’s ambassador Qi Zhenhong told Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ali Sabry at a meeting on Monday.
Sri Lanka last month unilaterally suspended external debt repayments before approaching the IMF for help. China is one of Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral lenders with about $6.5 billion in loans.
“Ambassador Zhenhong also assured Minister Ali Sabry that as a major shareholder of the IMF, China is willing to play an active role in encouraging the IMF to positively consider Sri Lanka’s position and to reach an agreement as soon as possible,” Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said in a statement.
(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe, Writing by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Hugh Lawson)