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15-Years Ago Three African Countries Were Among China’s Top Oil Suppliers, Today Only One’s Left

This picture taken on December 11, 2019, shows an oil tanker at the port of Ras al-Khair, about 185 kilometres north of Dammam in Saudi Arabia's eastern province overlooking the Gulf. GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

Amid the ongoing discussions surrounding African debt restructuring and the proposed multibillion-dollar China-Iran comprehensive partnership agreement, China’s oil procurement is a through-line that binds some of these disparate issues together.

After all, Angola accounts for approximately a third of Africa’s entire bilateral debt to China. So if one strips out the oil-backed loans to Luanda, the issue of Chinese debt in Africa looks a lot more manageable (admittedly, it does vary widely depending on the country).

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