Ms. Zeng Rong, Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the UK, recently wrote a letter to the Financial Times about the unjustified comments carried in a letter published in the newspaper with regard to its articles hyping the so-called China “debt-trap” diplomacy. The Financial Times published the letter on 17 October 2018, the full text of which is as follows:
The two reports “TV tax stirs Zambian fears over Chinese debt-trap diplomacy” and “Ghana relations with China raise the emotional heat” (8 October) are pure fabrication.
First, China has not caused massive debt burden on African countries. From 2000 to 2016, China supplied $114.4bn in loans to African countries, which accounted for a mere 1.8% of Africa’s total foreign debts. In Ghana’s $213.9bn of foreign debts, China only accounts for less than 1.5%.
Second, Chinese loans are mostly concessional, with long maturities and low interest rates. They are primarily aimed at facilitating the continent's economic take-off and laying the groundwork for long-term development, rather than pursuing short-term hefty profits.
Third, China is committed to economic cooperation and trade with developing countries including Africa in a mutually beneficial and win-win spirit. China provides assistance within its capabilities, and focuses on infrastructure projects and personnel training. This helps enhance African countries’ capacity in self-development and sustainability.
At the recent Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the participating African leaders pledged to further deepen cooperation with China in various fields to achieve common development, mutual benefit and win-win results.
It is hoped that Financial Times would produce responsible and fair reports, rather than seeing things from behind tinted glasses and misleading your readers.