Mike Pompeo blasts China’s policy on lending to African nations

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has ripped China’s policy on lending to African countries in a statement on last week’s China-Africa summit, saying it creates an unsustainable debt burden and hides corruption with its secretiveness.

Noting that China is “by far the largest bilateral creditor to African government,” Pompeo said that “most US foreign assistance, by contrast, comes in the form of grants rather than loans, in order to promote transparent, private sector-led economic growth that benefits all parties.”

During the summit Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China would continue to work and support countries hardest hit by the coronavirus by providing “interest-free government loans” and by “extending the period of debt suspension” for certain African nations, Fox News reported.

Pompeo referred to China’s aid relief announcement as “empty promises and tired platitudes,” adding that China should implement the G-20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative to ensure transparent coronavirus aid.

The DSSI was created by the G-20, with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to provide financial aid to eligible nations reeling from the coronavirus.

Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi JinpingHuang Jingwen/Xinhua via Getty

The plan temporarily suspends loan repayments for 77 developing nations struggling with the coronavirus pandemic until the end of the year.

“The CCP [Communist Party of China] needs to move beyond vague public statements and start to fully and transparently implement the DSSI in accordance with its G20 commitments,” Pompeo said.

Xi committed to participating in the G-20’s DSSI and said he encourages “Chinese financial institutions … to hold friendly consultations with African countries according to market principles to work out arrangements for commercial loans with sovereign guarantees.”

Pompeo dismissed Xi’s words as “misleading propaganda.”

China has hit back at the US’ top diplomat, via the state-controlled people’s Daily, slamming him in a pair of articles Thursday.

In one, they mock Pompeo’s contention that he is a devout, evangelical Christian, citing his continued attacks on China over the pandemic, which originated in that country and has killed more than 120,000 Americans.

The second also slams Pompeo for having “a playbook to attack China, but not a plan to save Americans from COVID-19, SAD!”

With Reuters


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