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Sri Lanka crisis

How much does Sri Lanka owe China? Question looms over new president

Broad measure puts Beijing's share at 20% of national total, above official data

New Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken office in the midst of a deep economic crisis.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Newly appointed Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe needs to negotiate a financial lifeline from the International Monetary Fund to combat the nation's worst economic crisis since it achieved independence in 1948, but dealing with opaque major creditor China poses a difficult challenge.

The veteran politician was named prime minister for the sixth time in May after Mahinda Rajapaksa stepped down amid protests over his handling of Sri Lanka's economy. Wickremesinghe was nominated for the presidency this month to replace Gotabaya Rajapaksa -- the former prime minister's younger brother -- who fled the country.

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