Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Sri Lanka PM says China to develop strategic infrastructure – Prime Time News24



Sri Lanka’s prime minister stated on Wednesday that China has pledged to develop the island nation’s strategic deep sea port and the capital’s airport after talks along with his counterpart in Beijing.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated China — the island’s largest bilateral creditor — would “help” Sri Lanka’s restructuring of exterior debt, a key situation to sustaining a $2.9 billion IMF bailout.

Beijing’s place on debt restructuring has not been made public, however Sri Lankan officers have stated China was reluctant to take a haircut on its loans however may prolong the tenure and modify rates of interest.

Sri Lanka in 2022 ran out of international alternate to finance important imports and declared a sovereign default on its $46 billion international debt.

Months of protests pressured then-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa out of workplace.

Gunawardena’s workplace stated Premier Li Qiang had promised China would “help Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring course of constantly and assist Sri Lanka to develop its economic system”.

Gunawardena stated Beijing had supplied “help to develop” Colombo Worldwide Airport and Hambantota port, the assertion added, with out giving additional particulars. A Japanese-funded enlargement of Colombo airport had been on maintain since Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt default.

The southern sea port of Hambantota was handed to a Chinese language state-owned firm in 2017 on a 99-year lease for $1.12 billion, sparking safety issues in Beijing’s regional rival India.

India and the USA are each involved {that a} Chinese language foothold at Hambantota, on the island’s southern coast, may increase its naval benefit within the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka has insisted its ports won’t be used for any army functions, however New Delhi has objected to Chinese language analysis vessels calling at Hambantota fearing that they may very well be used for espionage.

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