COLOMBO - Sri Lanka has begun discussions with China about refinancing its debt, a cabinet spokesman said on Tuesday, as Colombo struggles with its worst financial crisis in decades.

"China has indicated their stance is that because they have lent to many countries around the world ... they have suggested that they will refinance the debt," said Nalaka Godahewa, who also serves as Sri Lanka's media minister.

Discussions with Beijing were at an early stage, he added.

(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe in Colombo; Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Christopher Cushing)