Wednesday, December 14, 2022

China: Our investments and aid to Africa are not a trap, but a benefit

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022   No comments

Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Chen Gang, has criticized allegations that China is creating a "debt trap" in Africa.

 "The continent should be a place for international cooperation, rather than an arena in which major powers compete for geopolitical gains," Gang said, on the sidelines of the US-Africa leaders' summit in Washington, which brings together leaders of 49 African countries and the African Union.

 The Chinese ambassador added, "Chinese investments and financial aid to Africa are not a trap, but rather a benefit."

 "Over the past decades, China has provided loans to help Africa's economic and social development," Gang said. "You can see hospitals, highways, airports, stadiums. It's clear, it's not a trap, it's not a conspiracy, it's transparent and honest."

 

The Chinese ambassador to the United States referred to a study published last July by the British charitable foundation "Deep Justice", which showed that the volume of African countries' debts to Western private lenders represents 3 times the size of their debts to China, pointing out that the interest rate on Private loans are twice the rate of Chinese loans.

 

"These results prove that China is not the largest creditor in African loans, and that Chinese loans are only a small part," he stressed.

 

And yesterday, a spokesman for the US Department of Defense (Pentagon), Patrick Ryder, warned, that the development of the relationship between African countries and China will have negative repercussions on the relationship of these countries with the United States.

"We will be keen to issue statements for the ongoing discussions, and we continue to consult with our African partners, as any engagement in certain activities with the People's Republic of China may have some negative repercussions on their relations with us," Ryder said.

 

Earlier, US Deputy Commerce Secretary Don Graves acknowledged that the United States had fallen behind after China overtook US foreign investment in Africa.

 

And before the start of the summit of the leaders of the United States and Africa yesterday, the White House announced President Joe Biden's support for the African Union to become a permanent member of the Group of Twenty.

 

It is noteworthy that the US National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, said earlier that the United States will pledge, during the US-Africa summit, to support Africa with an amount of $ 55 billion over the next three years.

 

It is worth noting that the volume of trade between China and Africa exceeded $254 billion in 2021, compared to $64.33 billion between the United States and Africa.

To contextualize Western  aid to African country, the $55 billion pledged by the US to Africa’s 50+ countries over three years is less than the amount actually given to Ukraine by the US in just one year. In this context, the West should be encouraging other countries to invest more in Africa not ask African countries to reject Chinese investment.

 

 

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