Zambia has written an official de’marche to the United States of America (USA) government to request a retraction of a portion of the statement made by a senior US official John Bolton, who alleged that the Chinese government intends to takeover some state owned enterprises because of government’s alleged failure to settle China’s outstanding loan.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joe Malanji said the Zambia government is optimistic that the American Embassy in Zambia was expected to transmit the de’marche to Washington DC as soon as possible.
In his statement to unveil new USA policy on Africa in relation to China and Russia, USA National Security Advisor John Bolton allegedly said Zambia owed China between US$6 billion and US $10 billion and was poised to lose its state utility company for China to recoup the debt.
Mr. Malanji said the Zambian government was disappointed that such a statement, which lacked accurate information, could come from a high ranking official who could have easily verified the information with the American Embassy in Lusaka before giving a presentation of such magnitude.
“Such misinformation gives a bad name to America’s foreign policy,” Mr. Malanji said.
He said Zambia enjoyed cordial bilateral and multilateral relations with the US government and does not wish to see its diplomatic ties strained as a result of misinformation.
The Minister clarified that Zambia has not offered any of its state assets as bilateral or multilateral loans that Zambia contracts are sovereign guaranteed.
“Therefore, no state assets or state enterprise were at risk of being repossessed as they have not been used as collateral security,” he emphasised.
Mr. Malanji also said Zambia was not in a debt crisis, adding that her debt ratio in relation to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was healthy.
The Foreign Affairs Minister said Zambia was managing its debt settling very well and had not defaulted in any of its repayment plans.
He stressed that Zambia enjoys bilateral relations with over 100 countries which include the United States of America.
This is contained in press statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Addis Ababa Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza.