Excerpts from the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on June 1, 2018
Q: China and Sri Lanka are reportedly involved in talks to sign a free trade deal. But a senior Sri Lanka trade negotiator said that the talks have reached a stalemate at the moment, as Sri Lanka is worried that Chinese investment may make it indebted. I am aware that this question is for the Commerce Ministry to answer. Maybe you can give us some comments about this?
A: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned, and I will refer you to the Ministry of Commerce.
As a principle, China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperative partners, and we have lent sincere support to each other as always. In light of Sri Lanka’s needs, China provides assistance to the best of its ability to help Sri Lanka close financing gap, boost economic development, improve people’s livelihood and enhance its self-development capability. This has been applauded by the Sri Lankan government and people. China attaches importance to its friendly cooperative relations with Sri Lanka and is willing to continue to conduct cooperation in economic, trade and other areas with it in the spirit of equality and mutual benefit. We stand ready to play a constructive role in helping Sri Lanka follow the path of sustainable development and diversify its economy.