The Chinese government says it cannot take the blame for Africa’s debt burden, saying it is as a result of accumulation over the years.
At a press briefing on Monday, the US department of state had said China’s loan rates are terrible for Africa because they burden the continent.
Responding to the statement on Tuesday, Geng Shuang, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, said he hopes other countries will do more good for Africa’s development and treat China-Africa cooperation in a fair and objective manner.
“Such remarks are totally out of line with the truth,” Geng told a news conference.
“The debt of some African countries is the result of long-term accumulation instead of a recent appearance. China is not the main creditor of African countries.”
He said any country would need financial support at the initial stage of industrialisation and that Africa cannot reach industrialisation and modernisation without such support.
“Chinese companies have built a lot of highways, railways, ports, airports and communication facilities, greatly improving Africa’s economic development environment and helping Africa attract foreign investment,” he said.
According to Geng, the Chinese government has encouraged its companies to increase direct investment in Africa and explore new cooperative modes of investment such as public-private partnership.
“I emphasise that the Chinese side attaches great importance to the sustainability of Africa’s debt. We have done our best to avoid increasing Africa’s debt burden,” Geng said.
The spokesman said China is ready to work with the international community to support Africa in its pursuit of peace, stability, and development.