Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi. FILE PHOTO | AFP
Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi. FILE PHOTO | AFP

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi played down concern over Africa’s debts with Beijing on Thursday as he arrived in Ethiopia at the start of a four-nation Africa tour.

China has funnelled cash and loans into infrastructure projects across the continent, where many African leaders consider Beijing’s terms a better deal that than those offered by bilateral Western nations.

Wang initially sidestepped concerns, often made by Western nations, about whether the debt repayments were sustainable.

“Generally, debt in Africa has been a protracted issue left from history,” Wang said. “It didn’t come up today, still less is it caused by China.”

China is the single largest bilateral financier of infrastructure in Africa, exceeding the combined total of the African Development Bank (ADB), the European Union, International Finance Corporation, the World Bank and the Group of Eight (G8) countries.

“We know that in terms of financing, some African countries have encountered difficulties,” Wang then added, speaking on the first leg tour of tour that will also include The Gambia, Senegal and Burkina Faso.

“China attaches great importance to that, as Africa’s good friend and brother. We’re always ready to extend a good hand when African countries need it.”

Chinese foreign investment and construction between 2005 and 2018 totalled $298 billion in sub-Sahara Africa, according to data compiled by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative research organisation.

Both Wang and his Ethiopian counterpart, Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu, spoke warmly of ties between their nations – and dismissed a suggestion that relations had cooled since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power last year with a sweeping reformist agenda.

“The reform process in Ethiopia – we believe it will further strengthen our ties with China,” Workneh said.

“China will continue to be Ethiopia’s strategic partner,” he added.

Source: AFP

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15 COMMENTS

  1. So far I’ve only heard about state asset seizures by China in Zambia with ZNBC and Kenya with their Mombasa sea port.There could be more stuff.

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    • We appreciate the dependable support China has continued to offer since our pre-independence days. Africa needs access to affordable capital to drive her development goals. But its about time we realized that it is impossible to get something for nothing in case we are privy to the concept of opportunity cost in economics. Whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone, in this case, our children are being dangerously trapped to pay with their blood. I believe these debts are leaking heavily due to the poor control systems.

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    • Last month, Somalia was forced to give fishing rights to China after entrapping them in debt they’ve failed to pay.

      Careful with this PF, they’ll auction all national resources & assets, informal sector, construction sector, mining sector to Chinese just to have a block of flats & Range Rovers.

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    • When did China seize any state assets in Zambia? This is news to me!

      Please stop repeating the Western World propaganda aimed at driving a wedge between China (the rising Phoenix the Western World is so terrified of) and Africa. Disappointedly, I have also seen some of this garbage on YouTube being amplified by fellow Africans painting themselves as experts. In particular, there is a lady on YouTube from Kenya who calls herself Dr “Something” (forgot her name) who like spreading this sort of rubbish…..she is so ANTI-CHINESE!

      By the way, this is the [email protected]!sh even some Cabinet Secretaries ( e.g Mr. Bolton) in the Trump Administration started to spread. They have been challenged to prove their statements and where they got their “facts”, to date we have not heard back.

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    • Conventional economics is built on rational choice theory and should guide our insatiable appetite for debts. You don’t get something for nothing in the world of economics. Successful nations always make prudent and logical decisions that provide them with the highest amount of utility leveraging efficient Risk management tools guiding them on their debt-to-income ratio. There are a number of projects we can point at which would not have passed a rigorous project selection process or murder board because they lack economic value where thoroughly evaluated. Politicians are always populists in which case, technocrats are failing to guide our politicians. It’s not the responsibility of China to advise on our national risks.

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    • @1 Enka,
      You are an intelligent Zambian to be a victim to the propaganda of the Agenda media in vanity spewing fake news to spark despondency in Africa. We are all distraught with the growing national debts mama African is sliding in, and our voices of caution and criticism cannot go mute because we are stakeholders to our nations. But China has done no asset seizure Zambia or Kenya’s Mombasa seaport. There are a lot of low life hired guns online doing subnormal propaganda works for plutocratic forces who thrive on African misery. Watch how they are jumping after potential Congo DR turmoil.

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    • Apparently the US has indicated three Swiss bank workers and a Mozambican former minister of finance with a felon to intensionaly defraud the bank s internal controls by approving $2 billion loan to Mozambique in which $200 million was diverted to pay themselves as bribes for getting loan through.

      Next it will be ECL with his stooges greeting in the firing line by the US for accepting loan bribes from China and banking the money offshore to hide the Zambian debt. Hiding country debt amounts to distorting the international debt market.

      So be warned PF top guys that the US is watching every financial transaction externalising money from Zambia.

      Source. BBC.

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    • Thanks @Mzambia wa Zamani. Yes, that’s the name. I watched a number of are videos posts, the woman is into CONSPIRACY THEORIES just a little bit too much. Which is a shame really, because some of the things she says makes a lot of sense. I just hate her love for conspiracies and half truths!

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  2. China ain’t seizing nothing from Zambia i can guarantee you .Stop the western propaganda against our blossoming China-Africa romance .

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  3. When you have a beautiful wife don’t get loan from a rich friend.

    China is a good friend that has a dark agenda, the problem is our politicians have no idea what really china is up to. Tomorrow will be foreigners in our own land because no rich country can give you huge loans without a dirty dark agenda. Call me wrong but the future is not bright if our politicians continue getting brown envelops from china nishi sivinthu. The appetite for money within our politicians is worrying and it will cost us one day.

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