China has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide a loan to Sri Lanka as soon as possible to relieve the country’s liquidity strain, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said in a statement published on the ministry’s website.

“China will continue to support relevant financial institutions in actively working out the debt treatment,” she added.

“We will work with relevant countries and international financial institutions to jointly play a positive role in helping Sri Lanka navigate the situation, ease its debt burden and achieve sustainable development.”

In January, the Export-Import Bank of China provided a financing support document, which allows an extension on the debt service due in 2022 and 2023, the spokesperson said.

Moreover, the bank will consult with Sri Lanka regarding medium- and long-term debt treatment during this window period.

“The financing support document is aimed at combining an immediate contingency measure and medium- and long-term debt treatment to rapidly, effectively and truly resolve Sri Lanka’s debt issue,” the spokesperson said.

China calls on all other creditors of Sri Lanka, especially multilateral ones, to take synchronised, similar steps and support Sri Lanka to help the country emerge from its default status at an early date, Ning stated.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)