Chinese Foreign Minister rejects “debt trap” narrative

Chinese Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, on Wednesday rejected the so-called debt trap accusation, saying China has always been committed to helping Africa ease its debt pressure.

During a joint press conference with African Union Commission chairman, Moussa Faki Mahmat, Qin explained that in recent years, African countries have been actively promoting economic and social development, but insufficient funds have become the main bottleneck restricting Africa’s prosperity and revitalization. How to balance development financing and debt growth is a problem that countries must face in their development.

“China and Africa are good brothers who share the same destiny, and the two sides stand side by side on the road of common development”, Qin said. “Through actively participating in the G20 debt service suspension initiative, signing debt suspension agreements or reaching a consensus on debt suspension with 19 African countries, China has suspended the largest amount of debt among G20 countries. China has also actively participated in the G20 common framework to deal with individual cases of debts for Chad, Ethiopia and Zambia.”

He added that during the 8th ministerial conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced China would channel 10 billion U.S. dollars to African countries from its share of the International Monetary Fund’s new allocation of Special Drawing Rights.

“This work has made some progress”.

According to a World Bank report, multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold nearly three-quarters of Africa’s overall external debt, making up the bulk of Africa’s debt. Qin said it’s time for those lenders to do what they can to help Africa.

“They can and should play a greater role in alleviating Africa’s debt problems. China calls on all relevant parties to contribute to easing Africa’s debt pressure in accordance with the principle of “joint action and fair burden”.

Qin also emphasized that Africa’s debt problem is essentially a development problem.

“To solve the debt problem in Africa, we must not only treat the symptoms through debt disposal and other means, but also address the root causes, that is to enhance Africa’s independent and sustainable development capacity. China’s financing cooperation with Africa mainly involves infrastructure construction and productive fields, focusing on improving Africa’s independent and sustainable development capabilities. The so-called debt trap is a narrative trap imposed on China and Africa.”

“China’s projects and cooperation in Africa have contributed to the development of Africa and the improvement of people’s livelihood, and the African people have the most say in this. China will continue to respect the wishes of the African people, bring tangible benefits to the African people through China-Africa cooperation based on the actual situation in Africa, and achieve better common development.”