China has issued a strongly worded statement in response to comments made by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on her recent visit to Zambia. Ms Yellen had claimed that China was holding up debt restructuring talks in Zambia, but the Chinese government has denied these claims and advised the US to focus on its own domestic debt issues instead.
The statement follows remarks issued by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on her visit to Lusaka that China was holding up the debt talks
Ms. Yellen was quoted as saying that China needed to move with speed while President Hakainde Hichilema urged all parties to ensure that Zambia’s debt restructuring talks were concluded in the first quarter of the year.
In the statement, the Chinese Embassy in Zambia said that “the best prospect of the debt issues outside the U.S. would be the U.S. Treasury Department solving the U.S.’ own domestic debt problem, given how well she knows about facts, her professional capacities and her team’s implementation ability.”
“Assuming Secretary Yellen’s statements about debt were correct, the best prospect of the debt issues outside the U.S. would be the U.S. Treasury Department solving the U.S.’ own domestic debt problem, given how well she knows about facts, her professional capacities and her team’s implementation ability.”
The spokesperson went on to note that, according to news reports, the U.S. Treasury has begun taking “extraordinary measures” to meet its obligations, after the U.S. government hit its $31.4tn borrowing limit. Secretary Yellen has urged lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling sooner rather than later to avoid an unprecedented default and protect the credit of the United States.
The Chinese Embassy spokesperson also stated that Yellen’s words and actions have “eloquently revealed how and why the U.S.’ catastrophic debt problem is emerging, which convinces the world to drop the previous assumption that her statements about debt issues are correct.”
The statement also highlighted China’s active role in co-chairing Zambia’s Official Creditor’s Committee under the G20 Common Framework and working to find a sustainable solution for Zambia’s debt related to China. It also said that China looks forward to the US playing a “constructive role in the process.”
The Chinese government concluded the statement by saying that “even if the U.S. one day solves its debt problem, it is not qualified to make groundless accusations against or press for other countries out of selfish interests, because it cannot at all alleviate U.S.’ tremendous responsibility for the reason of the world debt issues, let alone the fact the U.S.’ domestic debt problem is now worsening the the world’s economic and financial stability.”