Following a comment made by the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland’s during her visit to Sri Lanka, China said US should show some sincerity and actually do something to help the island nation.
Responding to Nuland’s statement that the terms extended by China to Sri Lanka for getting IMF debt relief are not enough, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said in a regular press conference on Thursday, that what was said by the US side does not reflect the truth.
The US Under Secretary said the US expects China, as the largest bilateral creditor to Sri Lanka, to give credible and specific assurance that matches IMF’s standard on debt restructuring.
The Spokesperson said the Export-Import Bank of China has already provided Sri Lanka with a letter to express support for its debt sustainability and Sri Lanka has responded positively and thanked China for that.
“Rather than jabbing fingers at China’s close cooperation with Sri Lanka, the US might as well show some sincerity and actually do something to help Sri Lanka weather through the current difficulties,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson retaliated.
Spokesperson Mao Ning said as a friendly neighbour and true friend, China has been closely following the difficulties and challenges facing Sri Lanka and providing assistance for its economic and social development to the best of its capabilities.
“As to Sri Lanka’s debt to the Chinese side, we support Chinese financial institutions in having consultations with Sri Lanka to seek a proper settlement,” she added.
When asked whether there is any conversation or talk between China and the IMF where the IMF has confirmed that China’s assurances are credible and enough for the IMF to disburse the debt relief financial support, the Spokesperson said China supports the Chinese financial institutions in having consultations with Sri Lanka to seek a proper settlement to its China-related debt issue.
“China stands ready to work with relevant countries and international financial institutions and continue to play a positive role in helping Sri Lanka navigate the situation, easing its debt burden and helping it achieve sustainable development,” Spokesperson Mao Ning said at the regular press conference.