Following the end of the three day Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit in Beijing, African leaders have attested that the super power’s cooperation has not added to their debt burden, a senior Chinese government official has revealed.
President Xi Jinping of China pledged Sh6 trillion ($60 billion) to African nations during the first day of the China-Africa forum; a similar amount to what he offered at the previous conference in Johannesburg three years ago.
Xi who has denied that the super power is stockpiling debt on African nations further revealed that China would scrap all interest free loans given to poorer African nations that are outstanding by the end of the year.
In a statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website, State Councilor Wang Yi revealed that Xi’s speech was met with ecstatic reception by the African leaders with some claiming that the Asian nation takes actions when it comes to investing in Africa unlike Western countries that do nothing more than just talk and offer fake promises.
“The different heads of state have unanimously agreed that China is sincere and selfless in its support for Africa’s development. They further revealed that the assumptions other parties are making that the cooperation between Africa and China is aggravating Africa’s debt are completely unfounded,” the councilor revealed.
In the statement, the councilor added that: “There is no market for sowing discord between Africa and China!”
China has defended its decision to supply the African continent with more loans insisting that the aid granted will help the continent develop and not pile up debt. A wave of African nations seeking to restructure their debt with China has served as a reality check for Beijing’s ties with the continent, though most of its countries still see Chinese lending as the best bet to develop their economies.
All African nations were represented at the summit except eSwatini; the self-ruled African nation with ties to Taiwan that has so far rejected China’s advances.