China has denied the allegation of its plan of setting debt traps for Nigeria and other African countries, clarifying that “it has always been above board in its cooperation with Africa, never interfering in the internal affairs of African countries or attaching any political strings.”
China Consul General , Chu Maoming, made this known in Lagos, in an article to mark 20 years of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), he further described the allegations as false, pointing out that “if we break down African countries’ foreign debt, multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold more than three-quarters of the total, and so bear a greater responsibility for debt relief.”
Maoming stated that with FOCAC, China and Africa have fostered a mutually benefitting cooperation,“As for the false accusations made by some countries and media against China, I would like to point out that it is not China that is setting a ‘debt trap’ for Africa, and China refuses to wear this ill-suited label. Some years ago, when dealing with Africa’s debt problems, certain countries attached a lot of political strings and set standards and thresholds that many African countries could hardly meet. Their attempt to remodel Africa by taking advantage of the debt issue has been widely criticised by African countries. China has never been absent when it comes to supporting Africa. China will continue to strengthen communication and coordination with African countries and resolve the debt issue through friendly consultation,” he added.
The article titled, ‘Celebrating 20 Years of FOCAC,’ reads: “The year of 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). China, along with all African countries, is happy to celebrate the moment of great and unique significance.
“Twenty years since its establishment, FOCAC has traveled an extraordinary journey. Under the joint efforts made by China and Africa over the past two decades, FOCAC has grown into an important and dynamic platform for China and Africa to carry out collective dialogues as well as an effective mechanism for practical cooperation, and represents an important flag for South-South cooperation. China and Africa have all along adhered to the principle of putting people first and committed themselves to the high-level quality development of the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership, with FOCAC cooperation benefiting the people of both China and Africa. At the successful 2018 FOCAC summit held in Beijing, China and Africa agreed to build a closer China-Africa community with shared future, charting the course for the future development of bilateral relations.
Maoming said that China-Africa relations would continue to be strengthened as China would like to take the 20th anniversary of FOCAC, together with African countries, as an opportunity to continue upholding the principle of ‘achieving shared growth through consultation and collaboration’.
The envoy emphasized that China had the strong wish to work with Africa and cope with various risks and challenges, making China-Africa cooperation a good example for multilateralism and mutual benefits, contributing to defending international fairness and justice on the world stage, and promoting global development and prosperity.