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‘Deal with Your Own Debt’, China Tells US About Zambia Debt Relief

Washington and Beijing are vying for influence in Africa, where Chinese banks are the main lenders.

China’s government says the US needs to stop pressuring Beijing over Zambia’s debt relief and focus on avoiding government defaults at home that could affect the global economy. I’m here.

The Chinese embassy in Zambia said in a statement, “The greatest contribution the United States can make to its external debt problems is to take proactive steps to address its own debt problems and to resolve the debt problems of other sovereign countries. Stop sabotaging efforts.” Tuesday.

The US government caps the amount it can borrow at $31.4 trillion. reached its limit on thursday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen implemented “special measures” to allow the U.S. government to continue making payments in the short term, then traveled to Africa. When she visited Zambia, she said it was important for her to deal with the heavy debt burden with China.

The country failed to pay off a $42.5 million bond in November 2020, becoming Africa’s first sovereign state. Default during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s already taken too long to fix this problem,” Yellen said Monday.

Washington is trying to woo African nations as rivals Russia and China increase their influence on the continent.

During her visit to Africa, including Senegal and South Africa, Yellen called for expanding US trade and business ties.

“The United States is fully engaged in Africa and is fully committed to Africa,” Yellen said Friday in Dakar, touting the fruits of a new “mutually beneficial” US economic strategy for Africa. said.

In response to President Yellen, China has fought between Republican lawmakers and the Democratic administration of Joe Biden over raising the U.S. debt ceiling to allow it to borrow more to keep the government running. focused on.

“Even if the United States one day solves its debt problems, it is not qualified to make baseless accusations or pressure other countries for selfish gain,” the Chinese embassy said in a statement.

According to Boston University’s Center for Global Development Policy, China’s development banks have emerged as major lenders to poor countries around the world for natural resources, transportation and power projects, but their lending has grown sharply and steadily since 2016. steadily declining.

Data compiled by the Center show that new financing commitments have fallen from 151 projects worth $80 billion in 2016 to eight projects worth a total of $3.7 billion in 2021.

According to UK-based Chatham House, 22 low-income African countries are now either already in debt crisis or at high risk of debt crisis. % and more than quintupled from 2000 to 2020 to $696 billion.

Washington has repeatedly voiced concerns in recent weeks Cooperation between Beijing and Moscow Just like Russia is conducting an invasion of Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December that he expected Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit in 2023. If it does, the visit would be a public demonstration of wartime solidarity in Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi has defended China’s refusal to condemn aggression against Ukraine, suggesting that in December 2022 China will do so. deepen ties Russia next year.

He also blames the United States for deteriorating relations between the world’s two largest economies, Beijing pressuring trade and technology, and Washington’s “wrong China policy,” criticizing China for its human rights and far-reaching Chinese claims. “I categorically rejected it,” he said. of the western Pacific.

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