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The Chinese Approach to Debt Relief is Very Different Than That of Legacy Donors. A New Report Explains Why.

A trio of researchers at the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. has published a new working paper that provides some badly-need context about yesterday’s announcement by Chinese President Xi Jinping to cancel a small segment of Beijing’s loan portfolio in Africa and how the Chinese approach debt relief more broadly.

From the outset, the authors, Professor Deborah Brautigam, Kevin Acker, and Yufang Huang, declare the objective of this paper to relieve the “considerable confusion exists over what is likely to happen when a government runs into trouble repaying its Chinese loans.” Instead of relying solely on Chinese lending practices in Africa, the authors look at debt relief precedents in other parts of the world including Sri Lanka and Iraq among other countries.

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