July 15, 2024
Qin Gang: So-called China’s “Debt Trap” in Africa is a Narrative Trap Imposed on China and Africa
– By Godswill Odiong

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On January 11, 2023, local time, Foreign Minister Qin Gang refuted the groundless allegation that China is creating a “debt trap” in Africa in a joint press conference with the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat.

Qin Gang noted that African countries have in recent years been actively working to promote economic and social development, but lack of funds has become a major bottleneck to Africa’s prosperity and revitalization, and how to balance development financing with debt growth is an issue that all countries must face head-on in the course of pursuing development.

Qin Gang said that as good brothers sharing weal and woe, China and Africa have forged ahead side by side on the path of common development. China has always been committed to helping Africa ease its debt burden, actively participated in the Group of 20 (G20) Debt Service Suspension Initiative, signed agreements or reached consensuses with 19 African countries on debt relief and suspended the most debt service payments among G20 members. China has also been actively engaged in the case-by-case debt treatment for Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia under the G20 Common Framework. President Xi Jinping announced at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation that China would channel to African countries 10 billion U.S. dollars from its share of the International Monetary Fund’s new allocation of Special Drawing Rights, and this work has seen initial progress. Relevant reports from the World Bank have shown that multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold nearly three-quarters of Africa’s total external debt. They take a larger share of Africa’s debt, and they can and should take more robust actions to relieve the debt burden on African countries. China calls upon all parties concerned to contribute to alleviating Africa’s debt burden in line with the principle of common actions and fair burden-sharing.

Qin Gang emphasized that Africa’s debt problem is essentially an issue of development. The solution to the problem requires addressing not only the symptoms but also the root causes by means of debt treatment, among others, so as to enhance Africa’s independent and sustainable development capacity. China’s financing cooperation with Africa is mainly in fields such as infrastructure development and production capacity, with a view to enhancing Africa’s capacity for independent and sustainable development. The so-called China’s “debt trap” in Africa is a narrative trap imposed on China and Africa. Projects and cooperation carried out by China in Africa contributed to Africa’s development and the improvement of people’s lives. The African people have the biggest say in this. China will continue to respect the will of the African people, and bring tangible benefits to the African people through China-Africa cooperation based on the realities in Africa, so as to achieve better common development.

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