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China attaches great importance to Zambia's debt issue: FM spokesperson

Updated: February 15, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- China will continue to play a constructive role in the settlement of the Zambian debt issue, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

As a friendly country of Zambia, China always attaches great importance to Zambia's concerns about the debt issue, spokesperson Wang Wenbin told a daily news briefing.

The Zambian government on Monday refuted a Western media report that it does not support China's call for the World Bank and other multilateral lenders to join Zambia's debt restructuring process.

Zambian Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane said that, contrary to the Financial Times report, which was based on a recent interview with him, the southern African nation is "in no position to reject any proposals between China and the World Bank."

"The headline did not accurately reflect the minister's comments or Zambia's position," he said in a statement. The Financial Times has corrected its misrepresentation in an updated version of the story.

In response to a related query, Wang Wenbin said that China was the first international official creditor to implement debt relief for Zambia. As a co-chairman of the Creditor Committee for Zambia, China has facilitated the success of three meetings.

Western commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions, which account for 70 percent of Zambia's foreign debt, according to data released by Zambia's finance ministry, should shoulder their responsibility and take stronger action to ease Zambia's debt burden, Wang noted.

"We believe that the Zambian government and people are well aware of China's positive contribution to promoting Zambia's national construction and sustainable development, as well as the settlement of the Zambian debt issue," the spokesperson said, adding that the urgent clarification issued by Zambia's Ministry of Finance and National Planning highlighted the unbreakable mutual trust and friendship between China and Zambia.

Wang said some media organizations with ulterior motives tend to interpret out of context and provoke dissension between China and Zambia, as well as between China and Africa, which can neither withstand the scrutiny of facts nor help solve problems. Zambia and the international community can see this very clearly, he added.

"We believe that Zambia's debt restructuring requires mutual understanding, mutual trust and joint efforts by all stakeholders to find the best solution," Wang said, adding that China will continue to maintain close communication and friendly consultations with Zambia and relevant parties.

Editor: Yang Yifan