President urges China to change stance

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Sri Lanka is urging China to change its stance on debt relief and the country has informed the Chinese Government of the need to restructure debt, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Nikkei Asia.

“China, of course, has adopted a different approach, so it is a question of what is the agreement that the [other creditor] parties can reach with China,” he added.

Wickremesinghe was responding to a question about China’s preferred route of refinancing its loans or deferring the repayment dates for countries in debt to Chinese banks — rather than restructuring the loans and settling for a loss-making “haircut.”

Speaking further, the President said the geopolitical situation [in the Indian Ocean] is heating up, but so far, we have been able to keep it out and look at our [debt problem] in a purely economic manner.

But there will be issues [with] how the debt is being treated and how the debt relief is to be treated. They will have some geopolitical implications, he pointed out.