Western nations must end geopolitical tricks over Africa's 'debt issue'

By Song Wei Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2020/6/9 2:50:52

China’s donation of medical supplies to African countries arrives at Ghana on April 6. Photo: Xinhua

After it was reported that Angola had encountered difficulty in repaying their debts, China has been working with the African nation and its request for debt relief. China is expected to settle on debt roll-over plan and figure out how it can help the southern African country endure the COVID-19 pandemic rather than demanding repayment.  

As the pandemic rages worldwide, African countries have faced social and economic challenges. When compared to other countries on the African continent, Angola's economy is relatively good. The country pioneered the concept of oil-backed loans as a way to access Chinese funding for infrastructure development, yet has experienced difficulty partly due to the drop in oil prices. 

Compared with Angola, other African countries with backward economic development have encountered drastic challenges with debt repayment. For different countries and different types of loans, China can solve their financial problems in a flexible manner that includes equal consultation, repayment suspension, or by promoting investment, but everything begins with promoting sustainable development in these countries.

For those countries with loan repayment issues, China has proactively participated in and implemented a debt service suspension initiative from G20 countries to relieve pressure on African nations. China announced repayment suspension for 77 developing countries and regions, Chinese officials said at a press briefing at the State Council Information Office on Sunday.

While adhering to the G20 debt relief initiative, China has also supported low-income countries in Africa through bilateral channels to help them make it through the pandemic. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. As noted by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, China will continue to help Africa fight against COVID-19 and dedicate to help Africa develop self-reliant capacities to maintain economic momentum.

Facing the heavy blow and severe uncertainty caused by COVID-19, European countries and the US should abandon their geopolitical considerations and think beyond ideology. They should cooperate with all powers who are willing to support Africa in an inclusive mindset.

China is willing to cooperate with all countries, international organizations, and institutions that support Africa's development, and jointly support Africa to overcome difficulties.

The author is an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation under the Ministry of Commerce. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn


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