Chinese FM: Africa 'debt trap' allegations 'unreasonable'
China's Foreign Minister visits Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and reaffirms the need to assist African nations to overcome existing debt pressures through development.
Chatham House, the international affairs think tank in London, stated that China is responsible for just approximately 12% of Africa's total foreign debt, which is estimated at $700 billion.
During a visit to the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Chinese FM Qin Gang refuted claims that a "Chinese debt trap" was emerging throughout the continent.
The so-called "debt trap" is faulty rhetoric that has been pinned onto the relationship between China and African nations, according to Qin. The FM, who is on a week-long visit to the continent as part of his first overseas trip in an official capacity, also asserted that the only people qualified to assess the level of cooperation between China and Africa are the African people.
During a press conference that was held at the African Union's headquarters in Addis Ababa on Wednesday, Qin remarked on the Sino-African relations saying "As good brothers sharing joys and sorrows, China and Africa have forged ahead side by side on the path of common development.”
The FM emphasized that manufacturing and infrastructure development are the key focuses of Sino-African financial cooperation as it aspires to create the skills required for Africa's self-sustaining growth.
Qin claimed that initiatives in which China is involved advance the well-being of African nations. He pointed out that encouraging these governments' economic and social growth would be a better way to address the issue of their outstanding debts than using debt settlement procedures.
The Foreign Minister also mentioned that Beijing and 19 African nations had previously reached debt reduction deals.
“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 actual situation in Africa,” Qin stressed.
Approximately 75% of the African total debt pertains to multilateral financial institutions as well as commercial creditors, according to the FM, who also urged "all parties concerned" to assist in reducing the pressure exerted on African nations as a consequence of existing debt.
“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 said.
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