West’s ‘rhetorical trap’ about Chinese financing in Africa is exposed
Published: Apr 10, 2023 07:36 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin  Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

China's Foreign Ministry on Monday said that China is not a source of so-called "debt traps" for African countries, but instead a partner that helps Africa and developing countries elsewhere to reduce poverty, saying that US and Western politicians' "rhetorical trap" is fully exposed, which is losing appeal. 

Responding to recent remarks by some US officials and officials of the World Bank that blame China for debt issues in Africa, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the ministry, said that those comments are untenable.

Wang said that China is committed to providing support for the economic and social development of developing countries, including African countries, and has always carried out investment and financing cooperation with developing countries based on equality and mutual benefit.

"China is not the source of 'debt traps' for African countries, but a partner helping African countries and other developing countries get out of the 'poverty trap'," Wang said. 

Western officials, particularly those in the US, have been smearing China's cooperation with African countries and other developing nations. David Malpass, president of the World Bank, said in a recent interview with the BBC that he was "concerned about some of the loans China has been making to developing economies in Africa."

US Vice President Kamala Harris and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have also taken aim at China for debt issues in Africa. When talking about Zambia's debt problem, Yellen has previously called China a "barrier" to debt reform in Africa, according to media reports. 

Such remarks have been firmly rejected by Chinese officials, who dismissed them as rhetorical traps that aim to sabotage China's cooperation with African countries and other developing nations. 

"Some US and Western politicians have created various rhetorical traps in an attempt to disrupt China's cooperation with developing countries. Their tricks have been seen through by the vast number of developing countries and the international community, and there is less and less of a market for them," Wang said on Monday. 

Chinese officials have also pointed out that multilateral lenders and commercial creditors are the biggest debt holders in many developing nations, while China has made contributions to help ease the debt burdens of developing countries. 

During a trip to Africa in January, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that China has always been committed to helping Africa ease its debt burden, noting that China is an active participant in the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). Qin also said that China has signed an agreement or reached a consensus with 19 African countries on debt relief, and it has suspended the largest amount of debt service payments among G20 members.

Some media reports point to China's efforts to help ease debt woes faced by some developing countries. A study released last week by the China Africa Research Initiative at the Johns Hopkins University concluded that "China fulfilled its role fairly well as a responsible G20 stakeholder implementing the DSSI in the challenging circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic."

Of the 46 countries that participated in the DSSI, Chinese creditors accounted for 30 percent of all claims, and contributed 63 percent of debt service suspensions, according to the study.