China Wants To Work With India To Help Sri Lanka
China praises India for making great efforts to assist Sri Lanka to overcome the financial crisis. India supported Sri Lanka $3 Billion & other assistance.
The president of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa claimed that Beijing has changed its strategic focus from South Asia to South East Asia, saying the region remains a top priority.
Since its 1948 independence from the United Kingdom, Sri Lanka has seen tremendous economic turbulence.
The economic crisis in Sri Lanka has sparked political upheaval, with demonstrators calling for President Rajapaksa’s resignation.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, was asked by the media whether China, which has made significant investments in Sri Lanka, is hesitant to assist the island nation as it faces its greatest economic crisis.
As a response, China’s spokesperson said,
“We’ve also seen that the Indian government has put in a lot of work in this area. We are aware of this.
We are also eager to engage with India and other members of the world community to assist Sri Lanka and other developing nations in their efforts to overcome this crisis.”
Sri Lanka has been declared bankrupt and failed on all foreign debts, including those from China, totaling USD 51 billion.
But India has provided USD 3 billion in line credit and other forms of aid to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is very grateful for this assistance.
China has pledged 500 million RMB (about USD 73 million) in aid for the delivery of critical supplies, but has stayed mute on President Rajapaksa’s request to postpone debt repayment and its earlier declaration that it would examine a USD 2.5 billion credit facility for Colombo.
Rajapaksa told the media on Monday that Sri Lanka was unable to acquire a USD 1.5 billion (credit line from Beijing).
He also said that he has yet to get a response to his request for a USD one billion loan to purchase necessary items from President Xi Jinping.
Significantly, both Sri Lanka and Pakistan are seeking IMF rescue packages to help them get through the biggest economic crisis in their history.