China calls for joint efforts to ease debt burden on developing countries: FM spokesperson
BEIJING, Mar. 23 (China Economic Net) - China takes the debt issue of developing countries seriously and has actively contributed to alleviating developing countries’ debt burden and promoting their sustainable development, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Wednesday.
Wang made the remarks in a routine press briefing in response to a media query on the outgoing World Bank chief David Malpass calling on China to be more active in restructuring discussions for some developing countries regarding debt.
China has contributed more than anyone else to implementing the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative and has played a constructive part in the treatment of individual cases under the G20 Common Framework, Wang said, adding that China has been working with the indebted countries through friendly consultation to help address their difficulty in debt repayment on the basis of respecting their will.
The spokesman said the truth is the Western-dominated commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions account for the lion’s share of developing countries’ debt and represent the major source of stress in terms of debt repayment.
Data from the World Bank shows that multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors hold more than 80% of the sovereign debt of 121 developing countries.
According to a report by UK-based charity Debt Justice, African governments owe three times more debt to Western private lenders than to China, and are charged double interest.
Wang said western creditors claim they need to maintain their credit rating and have thus refused to be part of the debt relief and service suspension effort.
Since last year, the US has resorted to unprecedented massive interest rate hikes. The world has witnessed tightening of financial conditions. This has made the severe debt problems of certain countries even worse, Wang said.
China calls on all parties, especially Western commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions, to help ease the debt burden on developing countries and foster growth drivers guided by the principle of joint actions and fair burden-sharing.