‘Debt-trap diplomacy’ is nothing but a myth, Wang Yi assures Africa

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi used his tour of Africa to assure the continent that the much-talked about debt trap diplomacy by China is a fictitious claim that has no basis.

Wang Yi who traveled to the continent this week for the traditional start of year trip to Africa reiterated that there has been no evidence whatsoever that China is pushing poor nations of Africa to debt through loans with the ultimate intention to seize their assets.

Speaking in Kenya during his three-nation tour of the continent, the Chinese top diplomat said the false narrative is being peddled by detractors who have nothing significant to offer the continent.

“The so-called “debt trap” in Africa is not a fact, but a malicious hype-up. It is an “utterance trap” created by those external forces that do not want to see Africa accelerate development,” he said at a press briefing held jointly with his Kenyan counterpart Rachael Omamo in the Coastal city of Mombasa on Thursday.

Wang reiterated that China’s only mission in Africa is to help the continent emerge from the decades-old challenges especially those posed by meagerness and deficiency. To constantly allege that Beijing has a hidden agenda in Africa, according to Wang Yi, is mischievous and is only aimed at driving a wedge between China and Africa.

He said China and Africa have enjoyed a good working relationship and that the existing cooperation mechanism has the potential to transform the fortunes of the continent. He vowed that China will continue to offer the support Africa really desires without prejudice in order to help her meet her development aspirations.

“If there is any “trap” in Africa, it is the “poverty trap” and the “underdevelopment trap”.” He charged

Wang added; “China is willing to work with all friendly countries to help African countries speed up post-pandemic recovery, eliminate poverty and underdevelopment, catch up with the times as soon as possible, achieve common development and create a better future.”

The high-ranking Chinese state official gave the assurance weeks after widespread reports emerged alleging that China had seized Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport over failure to meet her loan obligations. Both China and Ugandan governments have denied this claim.

A similar claim has been made as far as Kenya is concerned. Skeptics have alleged that Beijing was going to ‘confiscate’ the port of Mombasa in the event Nairobi defaults SGR loan. Again, Kenya and China vehemently rubbished these claims.

Besides the assurance, Wang noted that his mission in the continent this week was to ensure both sides speed up the implementation of the outcomes of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

“Over a month ago, the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC was successfully held. President Xi Jinping announced the “nine programs” for China-Africa practical cooperation.” he said

According to Wang, a series of bilateral cooperation documents that were signed by China and Kenya in Mombasa on Thursday are part of the nine programs announced by the Chinese leader in November 2021. Kenya, he said, is among the earliest beneficiaries of the $40 billion commitment made by Beijing.

“We stand ready to enhance synergy with African partners, roll up our sleeves and work hard to deliver all the outcomes of the conference to the benefit of the African people, help Africa speed up post-pandemic recovery and embark on the path of independent and sustainable development at an early date.” Wang Yi stated

Over and above this, Wang Yi noted that China stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Africa in international and regional affairs, even as it strives to safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries.

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