Saturday, July 20, 2024

China attaches great importance to Zambia’s debt issue: Foreign Ministry Spokesperson

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China will continue to play a constructive role in the settlement of the Zambian debt issue, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

As a friendly country of Zambia, China always attaches great importance to Zambia’s concerns about the debt issue, spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a daily news briefing.

The Zambian government on Monday refuted a Western media report that it does not support China’s call for the World Bank and other multilateral lenders to join Zambia’s debt restructuring process.

Zambian Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said that, contrary to the Financial Times report, which was based on a recent interview with him, the southern African nation is “in no position to reject any proposals between China and the World Bank.”

“The headline did not accurately reflect the minister’s comments or Zambia’s position,” he said in a statement.

The Financial Times has corrected its misrepresentation in an updated version of the story.

In response to a related query, Wang Wenbin said that China was the first international official creditor to implement debt relief for Zambia.

As a co-chairman of the Creditor Committee for Zambia, China has facilitated the success of three meetings.

Western commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions, which account for 70 percent of Zambia’s foreign debt, according to data released by Zambia’s finance ministry, should shoulder their responsibility and take stronger action to ease Zambia’s debt burden, Wang noted.

“We believe that the Zambian government and people are well aware of China’s positive contribution to promoting Zambia’s national construction and sustainable development, as well as the settlement of the Zambian debt issue,” the spokesperson said, adding that the urgent clarification issued by Zambia’s Ministry of Finance and National Planning highlighted the unbreakable mutual trust and friendship between China and Zambia.

Wang said some media organizations with ulterior motives tend to interpret out of context and provoke dissension between China and Zambia, as well as between China and Africa, which can neither withstand the scrutiny of facts nor help solve problems.

Zambia and the international community can see this very clearly, he added.

“We believe that Zambia’s debt restructuring requires mutual understanding, mutual trust and joint efforts by all stakeholders to find the best solution,” Wang said, adding that China will continue to maintain close communication and friendly consultations with Zambia and relevant parties.

9 COMMENTS

  1. China has been and will always be a great economic partner, but how we make use of an economic partner is entirely up to us. We can either enter into bad partnerships as we have done in the past or make full use of the opportunity as we should be doing and utilise the resources provided to the betterment of all citizens as I believe we can do now going forward. China is not to blame, we ourselves are the ones that misuse golden opportunities let us not repeat those mistakes.

  2. Someone once boasted that it took several years for the previous government to negotiate the IMF package and that it had taken them just a few months to get it. It’s now over 1 year and still counting and the package is nowhere in sight. Reading the article above it doesn’t give any hope that getting the package is anywhere near.

    What lessons must we learn from this? Don’t rubbish what your friend has done, before you even understand what is involved.

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    • @Humility_ I think you are confusing the two. IMF and Creditors. Zambia is already on the IMF program and already received the first instalment. This debt restructuring is with the creditors most of whom are private investors such as banks.

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  3. This Government did not get us into this mess.
    They are working resolutely to fix it.
    Corruption by PF got us here, a lot of the money burrowed was misappropriated

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  4. @Humility
    The IMF has already granted Zambia the $1.3billion credit facility. That was all over the news apart from the PF inclined media.
    Whats remaining now is just restructuring the debt to lower the monthly periodical debt repayments. The debt terms and interest rates negotiated by ECL and the PF were too high and choked Zambias fragile economy.

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