China willing to help Sri Lanka deal with debt burden



China is willing to play an active role in helping Sri Lanka deal with its debt burden along with other countries and international organizations, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular conference on Wednesday.

China calls for Sri Lanka to safeguard the legitimate rights of foreign investment partners, the spokesperson said, and ensure the stable operation of its domestic market.

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said recently in an interview that, "China appears to be shifting its strategic focus toward Southeast Asia and Africa, noting that South Asian countries in financial trouble aren't getting the same attention from Beijing as before."

In a response to the Sri Lankan president's remarks, Zhao said, as a good neighbor, China has provided several batches of relief to the Sri Lankan people, including 500 million yuan (around $74.9 million) in humanitarian aid.

China attaches great importance to developing good-neighborly relations with South Asian nations, the spokesperson said. He noted that China stands ready to maintain the positive trend of regional peace and development, and bring more benefits to the people.