China has debunked the allegation that it has been setting debt traps for Nigeria and other African countries, clarifying that “it has always been above board in its cooperation with Africa, never interfering in the internal affairs of African countries or attaching any political strings.”
China’s Consul General in Lagos, Chu Maoming, in an article to mark 20 years of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), further described the allegations as false, pointing out that “if we break down African countries’ foreign debt, multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold more than three-quarters of the total, and so bear a greater responsibility for debt relief.”
Maoming noted that with FOCAC, China and Africa have fostered a mutually benefitting cooperation.
“As for the false accusations made by some countries and media against China, I would like to point out that it is not China that is setting a ‘debt trap’ for Africa, and China refuses to wear this ill-suited label. Some years ago, when dealing with Africa’s debt problems, certain countries attached a lot of political strings and set standards and thresholds that many African countries could hardly meet. Their attempt to remodel Africa by taking advantage of the debt issue has been widely criticized by African countries. China has never been absent when it comes to supporting Africa. China will continue to strengthen communication and coordination with African countries and resolve the debt issue through friendly consultation,”