Although China’s debt relief efforts are often downplayed by many of its critics in the U.S. and EU, the fact is that Beijing’s done more to renegotiate and cancel loans to African countries during the current financial crisis than it has previously:
- In June, President Xi Jinping announced Beijing would cancel $3.4 billion of zero-interest loans made to African countries between 2000 and 2019.
- China’s extended $2.1 billion of combined debt relief to developing countries through the G20’s Debt Service Suspension Initiative, more than any other country, according to Reuters.
- Research by the Rhodium Group found 18 instances of Chinese debt restructuring talks with borrowers in developing countries this year covering an estimated $28 billion worth of loans.
Near term, according to new analysis by the Oxford China International Consultancy and Development Reimagined, China’s debt relief efforts are indeed providing tangible benefits to borrowing states in Africa. But there are just too many other variables to say conclusively whether these initiatives will help the continent recover from the COVID-19-induced downturn over the long run.
- Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
- Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
- Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.