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International relations

Sri Lanka settles $6.9m fertilizer bill with Chinese supplier

President Rajapaksa's tussle with Beijing ends just before Wang Yi's visit

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, left, was apparently eager to settle a dispute over an unpaid bill for fertilizer with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. (Nikkei montage/AP/Reuters)

COLOMBO -- Sri Lanka has been scrambling to patch up frayed ties with Beijing ahead of the arrival of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday for a two-day official visit. Relations have been strained since late last year due to a dispute over a shipment of organic fertilizer.

The Sri Lankan government, which hopes China will throw it a financial lifeline as it faces a deepening foreign exchange crisis, came under pressure from Beijing to resolve the dispute.

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