US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Friday accused China, the biggest lender to poor and developing countries, of blocking international efforts to ease the debt burden of these countries, particularly those in Africa.
Yellen said during a press conference at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington that “the obstacle to further progress is a large creditor country, China.”
“So there’s a lot of discussion about what we can do to bring China to the table and address these issues more effectively,” Yellen continued, after the IMF and World Bank fall meetings, which include meetings between the G7’s economic leaders. and G20 members.
The IMF and the World Bank continue to ask China, the world’s biggest lender, to participate in debt restructuring for poor and developing countries through a common negotiation program established by the G20.
“Very few countries” are asking to have their debts resolved under a common IMF plan, Yellen told a meeting with her counterparts from eurozone countries earlier in the day. “China is a major factor in why it’s not working” and Beijing is “not engaging constructively.”
The economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has led many countries to increase their debt again, a problem exacerbated by rising interest rates to control inflation.
China has borrowed between $500 billion and $1 trillion, concentrated in low- and middle-income countries, and “no fewer than 44 countries now owe more than 10% of their GDP to Chinese creditors,” said an adviser from Yellen. At the end of September.
© Agence France-Presse
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