China is considering offering USD 2.5 billion in financial assistance to crisis hit Sri Lanka, China's top diplomat in Colombo announced today (21).

Chinese ambassador to Sri Lanka Qi Zhenhong said that they are considering offering a USD 1.5 billion credit line to purchase goods and also confirmed that Sri Lanka has requested a separate loan of USD 1 billion.

This comes in the wake of Sri Lanka securing a USD 1 billion credit line from India to buy essential food and medicine last week during finance minister Basil Rajapaksa’s visit to New Delhi. 
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also confirmed that Sri Lanka has sought the global lender's assistance to restructure its unsustainable debt.  

Pointing out that China has been firm in supporting Sri Lanka despite being downgraded by ratings agencies, Ambassador Qi Zhenhong noted that China has already provided USD 2.8 billion in financial assistance as the country is undergoing its worst economic crisis since independence.

During a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday (20), Ambassador Qi expressed that finalising the proposed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations would immensely benefit the Sri Lankan local market and products and urged the Sri Lankan authorities to resume the 7th round of FTA negotiations at the earliest.