For the United States, China prevents debt relief for poor countries

The tensions between the two greatest world powers are expressed on all playing fields, including in Africa. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday accused China, the main creditor of poor and developing countries, of obstructing international efforts to provide debt relief to these countries, especially those on the African continent.

The obstacle to greater progress is a major creditor country, namely China “, declared the Minister of Economy and Finance of Joe Biden, Friday during a press conference at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in Washington. “ So there’s been a lot of discussion about what we can do to bring China to the table and foster a more effective resolution of these issues. “, she said, as the autumn meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, which also saw the G7 and G20 Finances meet, are coming to an end.

Very few countries ask that their debt be treated within the common framework of the IMF, the Minister had underlined earlier in the day, during a meeting with her counterparts from the countries of the euro zone. Of those who did, China is a big factor in why it doesn’t work “and Beijing” does not participate constructively “, she denounced.

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The pandemic has aggravated the difficulties of poor countries

The economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has led many countries to have to borrow again, with situations of over-indebtedness, reinforced by the rise in interest rates which should make it possible to curb inflation.

The situation in African countries and other developing countries ” is extremely worrying “, underlined the Secretary of the Treasury.

Debt problems are becoming more acute for African countries “, alerted Ms. Yellen, who recognized “ the importance of making progress towards having a better and more effective framework for resolving over-indebtedness “.

The total outstanding amount of official Chinese loans is estimated at between 500 and 1,000 billion dollars, concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, and ” no less than 44 countries now owe debt equivalent to more than 10% of their GDP to Chinese lenders “, had specified at the end of September an adviser of Ms. Yellen.