Beijing addresses ‘debt diplomacy’ in Africa
Publish date: 13 May 2019
Issue Number: 823
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: A Matter of Justice
Beijing has downplayed accusations that it is pressurising African countries that have borrowed funds that they risk losing their assets if they forfeit on their repayments. Tian Lin, the China International Development Co-operation Agency's spokesperson said Beijing was addressing concerns that his country engaged in ‘debt diplomacy’ by burdening African countries with debt to make them vulnerable. ‘These are things spread by Westerners who are not happy with the initiative China has taken towards spurring economic growth of Africa,’ Tian said. The East African reports that Tian said ensuring debt was tied to interest-free loans had long been a part of China's policy in Africa and the country would adhere to the principles of ‘giving more and taking less’. ‘China will forgive some of the debts that developing countries owe,’ he added.