China rejects Kenya debt trap claims

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NAIROBI, July 4 (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News – July 4, 2022): China on Sunday disputed Kenya’s “debt trap” claim, noting that no African country has sunk into debt due to financing agreements with Beijing.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian said in a comment published in the Sunday Standard newspaper that the East African nation owes less than 10% of its public debt, or less than 20% of its debt outside, to Chinese creditors.

“Therefore, calling China Kenya’s largest creditor is an overstatement,” the article said. Zhou said Western investors, often in the form of multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors, are the biggest creditors to African countries, including Kenya.

The Chinese envoy stressed that China has never attached political conditions to debt agreements, nor forced any African country to take out loans or pressured any African country to service its debt.

He added that no developing country has ever fallen into the so-called “debt trap” because of Chinese loans. “In fact, the so-called ‘debt trap’ is a narrative trap created by those who wish to forever plunge Africa into a ‘poverty trap’ and a ‘reverse trap’,” Zhou said.

It cannot be said that only loans from Western countries in the past were development aid while those from China are now referred to as a “debt trap,” Zhou said.

China-Africa financial cooperation has provided Africa with new options to break the bottleneck of insufficient funds for development, he said, adding that China has provided Africa with new channels of funding different from traditional Western funding sources to help build capacity for self-development. generated development.

“The fruitful and tangible results of our cooperation are there, visible to all,” Zhou said. He noted that financing from Western countries mainly focuses on non-manufacturing sectors and often comes with political strings attached, which undermines the continent’s long-term growth and stability.

“Instead of genuinely helping Africa to advance economic growth, generate more tax revenue, increase exports and earn foreign exchange to improve the balance of payments, such financing is used as a means to reshape the mainland,” Zhou said.

He added that China is fully implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries and has deferred more debt payments than any other G20 member and has signed agreements or reached to a common agreement on debt relief with 19 African countries.

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