China yesterday confirmed that talks were ongoing towards offering debt relief to Sri Lanka.
A spokesman for the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China said the two countries are negotiating on relevant financial assistance for post-COVID-19 era.
“The two Presidents discussed this during their recent telephone conversation,” he said, adding that yesterday’s announcement by China was part of the G20 special summit outcome. Whilst being first G20 member country to respond to COVID-19-hit poorer nations, the spokesman expressed the hope that others will follow suit.
During a telephone conversation with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on 13 May, Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined China’s readiness to work with Sri Lanka and the rest of the international community to give continued support for the leading role of the WHO and promote international cooperation on joint prevention and control.
Xi highlighted the strategic cooperative partnership between China and Sri Lanka based on sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship. The time-tested friendship and mutual trust between the two countries will grow only stronger through the joint fight against COVID-19.
While ensuring good prevention and control of COVID-19, the two countries could gradually restore cooperation in various areas, steadily resume the major cooperation projects and take forward high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Such endeavours will contribute to the economic recovery of Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa in his response expressed admiration for President Xi Jinping’s vision for a community with a shared future for mankind and endorsed the importance of supporting WHO’s leading role in international cooperation against COVID-19.
He expressed Sri Lanka’s hope to strengthen cooperation with China in areas of economy, trade, tourism and infrastructure, smoothly advance the Colombo Port City and other key projects under the Belt and Road cooperation. He expressed welcome for more Chinese investment in the country.