By Marvin Ochol
Chinese officials on Friday denounced the allegation that China has created ‘debt traps’ for African countries.
Mid this week Uganda’s Daily Monitor carried a story alleging that Government of Uganda has surrendered Entebbe International Airport to China over debts.
However, in an article carried by news cn, Chinese officialssay the allegations are not true.
“Why is money offered by Western countries to developing countries considered ‘assistance for development’, while the money offered by China is labelled as ‘debt trap’? This view is NOT logic or correct!” said Wu Jianghao, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, China.
He wondered which of the Chinese projects in Africa have been confiscated in Africa.
“None,” he said: “The hype surrounding Chinese ‘debt trap’ in Africa have NO factual basis and is being pushed on malicious grounds.”
Wu Peng, head of the department of African affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a press conference said not a single developing country has fallen into the “so-called debt traps” because of Chinese loans.
He added that development is the solution to African countries’ debt issue.
In recent years, African countries have been striving to boost social development, however, the funding shortage acts as a major bottleneck constraining Africa’s development, according to Wu.
Wu says as a genuine partner of Africa, China has been taking the funding needs of African countries seriously, while paying high attention to their debt sustainability.
He said that China has been supporting the move to ease African countries’ debt burden and actively implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative for Poorest Countries and has the highest deferral amount among G20 members.
Wu says that after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, China announced the cancellation of 15 African countries’ debt in the form of interest-free government loans that were due to mature by the end of 2020.
Developing countries need development, and development takes money, said Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao.
“It cannot be said that only the loans provided by Western countries in the past are development aids while the loans from China now are called ‘debt traps,'” he said, adding that the logic is untenable.
The “debt trap” allegation is coined by the governments and media of Western countries, he said, urging a more just, balanced perspective on the issue.
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