China Offers Debt Relief, But Most African Countries Borrow Elsewhere

Chinese President Xi Jinping promised Monday to cancel debt for some of Africa’s least-developed countries. Erasing debt tied to interest-free loans has long been a part of China’s policies in Africa.  But the announcement, made at Xi’s opening speech at the 2018 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, or FOCAC, comes amid growing concern over China’s lending practices, which some have deemed “debt-trap diplomacy.” Yet Chinese loans make up just a small portion of Africa’s debt, W. Gyude Moore, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, told VOA. Moore is Liberia’s former minister of public works and focuses on infrastructure financing in Africa. He put the continent’s total debt burden at about $6 trillion, most of which is owed to organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Paris Club of mostly Western creditor countries. He said Chinese loans make up just two percent of all Africa debt. Murky details Debt forgiveness is a small part of a much larger package announced at this year’s FOCAC, and details about affected countries aren’t known, Moore said. “Because it is unclear what the conditions are to qualify for debt relief, we can’t say for sure what countries will benefit from it,” he said. In his speech, Xi said the relief would help “heavily indebted and poor countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing countries.” That’s consistent with how China has dealt with debt forgiveness in the past. Deborah Bräutigam, the director at the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, wrote earlier this week that the debt-relief policies were nothing new, even if they sounded like a big change. “These foreign aid loans are a long-standing and relatively modest part of Chinese finance in Africa,” Bräutigam wrote. ‘Net positive’ Critics worry that China wants to create debt... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, China Offers Debt Relief, But Most African Countries Borrow Elsewhere, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you China Offers Debt Relief, But Most African Countries Borrow Elsewhere





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Thursday, 6 September, 2018



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