China rejects claim it is using “debt diplomacy” to expand global influence

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BEIJING, Oct 17 (APP):The Chinese foreign ministry Wednesday rejected the claim that China was using “debt diplomacy” to expand its global influence and said the cooperation with the developing countries had effectively promoted their economic and social development and improvement of people’s livelihood.
“For example, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) contributed 2.5 percentage points to Pakistan’s GDP growth in 2016.
The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, which is financed and built by China, has created nearly 50,000 jobs for Kenya.
“The cooperation is of course well received by the developing countries,” Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson Lu Kang said during his regular briefing here.
Giving more examples, he said the Pakistani finance minister also recently refuted the remarks about the Pakistani debt crisis caused by the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Sri Lanka was an example of some recent foreign media speculations, but as of 2017, Chinese loans accounted for only about 10% of Sri Lanka’s external debt; China’s total loans to the Philippines were less than 1% of Philippine foreign debts, he added.
He pointed out that recently, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to China also made it clear that the allegation that the Chinese government had dragged Sri Lanka into the ‘debt trap’ was completely wrong, he said and added, “I think these countries have the most say in these issues.”
The spokesperson said,“As we all know, insufficient capacity, lack of independent development capability, backward infrastructure, and financing difficulties are the bottlenecks that many underdeveloped countries generally face.”
China, he said, itself had faced the same problem for a long time, and it felt the same for the difficulties faced by the developing countries.
“Therefore, it can also rush to the urgency of developing countries, combine their own development experience, and uphold the correct interests and interests of these countries, “ he added.
Lu Kang remarked that during cooperation to provide the vast number of developing countries with the much-needed help, China did not attach any political conditions.
“These cooperation has effectively promoted the economic and social development of the countries concerned and the improvement of people’s livelihood,” he added.
The spokesperson said frankly speaking, the vast number of developing countries had also expected the more capable developed countries, including the United States, to provide such assistance.
“They hope that the developed countries can fulfill their commitments and provide real help to developing countries according to their actual needs and without any political conditions,” he added.
Lu Kang said in fact, in the relevant regional and national debts that the US and some media had been speculating recently, the debt ratio of China’s cooperation projects were very small.
“Until now, we have not heard of any country has fallen into the so-called “debt trap” because of cooperation with China,” he added.
The spokesperson said during the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the 73rd UN General Assembly that were held not long ago, many African leaders took the initiative to speak out and refuted the so-called China-Africa cooperation to increase the debt burden of Africa.
“These African leaders clearly pointed out that their countries are eager to develop, urgently need funds, and look forward to cooperation,” he added.
He reiterated the support and help from China did not attach any political conditions and did not interfere in the internal affairs of their country.
“These leaders welcome China and thank China, and they all praise China as the most reliable partner for the development and revitalization of Africa. These data and facts are a good illustration of the problem,” he added.