China says loans to Sri Lanka ‘based on consensus’

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hua Chunying

BEIJING – China’s loans to Sri Lanka were based on consensus through consultations between the two countries, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday, responding to interest rate concerns.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying made the comment after Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Saturday that his country was concerned with the interest rate of the loans from Beijing.

“The loans are extended at the request of Sri Lanka and based on consensus through consultations,” Hua said at a daily news briefing.

“The loan arrangements are for the whole nation and people and have played a positive role in the economic and social development of Sri Lanka,” Hua said.

She voiced confidence that the practical cooperation between the two countries will move ahead in the fundamental interests of the two nations and peoples.

Samaraweera paid an official visit to China from Feb 27 to 28. He is the first minister to visit China since Sri Lanka’s new government took office in January.