China is using the US debt tussle to divert pressure on Africa’s debt

BEIJING – The Chinese government says the United States should stop putting pressure on debt relief for Zambia and get its own financial house to prevent default and possible consequences for the global economy.

The Chinese Embassy in Zambia responded on Tuesday to US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who said a visit to an African country this week that it is essential to resolve its heavy debt burden with China.

“The biggest contribution the US can make to solving its debt problems outside the country is to … deal with its own debt problem and stop sabotaging the proactive efforts of other sovereign countries to solve their debt problems,” the Chinese Embassy in statement.

China’s development banks have become major lenders to poor countries around the world for projects in natural resources, transportation and energy, although lending has declined sharply over the past five years, according to Boston University’s Center for Global Development Policy.

Responding to Yellen, China focused on the battle between Republican lawmakers and the Democratic Biden administration over raising the US debt limit allow more borrowing to keep government running.

An embassy statement was then directed at Zambia, saying that China had made some progress as co-chair of the creditors’ committee seeking a sustainable solution. It says China expects the US to play a constructive role in this process.

“Even if the US solves its debt problem one day, it has no right to make baseless accusations or pressure other countries for selfish interests,” the statement said.

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