Saudi Finance Minister Defends China’s Policy in Africa

A good deal of the discussion at the IMF/World Bank annual meeting, that took place Oct. 9-15 in Marrakech, Morocco, was devoted to the soaring indebtedness worldwide. These two leading institutions are pushing some new lending, but only for projects to “save the planet” and other boondoggles.

China, which insists instead on funding actual development projects, remains a prime target of the G7 countries that accuse Beijing of laying “debt traps” in the Global South. That accusation was strongly refuted by Saudi Arabia’s Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan on Oct. 12 in a panel with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President Ajay Banga. “Maybe it’s time to set the record straight,” Al-Jadaan said, as quoted by CNBC. “China stepped up when people actually shied away from Africa. China built infrastructure that they cannot carry with them to China; it will actually be in Africa. China took the risks, when people didn’t want to take the risks. … Instead of actually poking China, I think we should establish here that they did what they needed to do for their own interest, but also to actually help other nations…”

“Instead of just antagonizing them, and actually damaging the low income countries which need their help, we should just show China as much love as we can, for the sake of the low-income countries, which need to find solutions for their debt,” he argued.

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