Loan: China is not Father Christmas - Envoy

Loan: China is not Father Christmas - Envoy

- The charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria says his country is not a Father Christmas

- The diplomat said China’s financial involvement in Africa is a win-win situation which is mutually beneficial

- He described the China-Africa cooperation as strong, ongoing and never ending

The charge d’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Nigeria, Lin Jing, says China is not a Father Christmas, but rather, looking for a win-win partnership with Africa and Nigeria.

Jing made this declaration on Thursday, September 13, in Abuja, at a roundtable on the Review Dialogue on the just concluded 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), NAN reports. gathers that at the roundtable organised by the Centre for China Studies, Jing shed light on the cooperation between China and Africa, particularly Nigeria with regards to free interest loan from China to the continent.

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“China has never been a ‘Father Christmas’ as you can see from the theme of the just concluded FOCAC, which is ‘China and Africa: Toward an Even Stronger Community with a Shared Future through Win-Win Cooperation’.

“It is a win-win cooperation and to join hands to build a closer and stronger community with a better future between China and Africa. So, our cooperation is mutually beneficial. Sometimes, China gives loan and takes later. Sometimes we give and ask in return," he said.

Jing said that China-Africa relations were gaining global attention as their practical cooperation has brought about dramatic changes in the economic landscape across Africa and real benefits to both people.

While allaying fears of another debt trap in Africa, he explained that China was ready to work closely with each African country to ensure that a debt trap was avoided in Africa-China relations.

“Through consultation and dialogue, we have been able to solve problems in our cooperation, including the debt payment; and we are ready to closely work with African countries,” he said.

The envoy further explained that China loans only accounts for 8.5 percent of Nigeria’s foreign debt profile.

He said that China was committed to the development of FOCAC and to deepening China-Africa comprehensive strategy and cooperative partnership.

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Jing said the success of FOCAC had fully demonstrated that the relationship between China and Africa has a solid foundation, adding, “China-Africa cooperation is strong and it is ongoing and never ending.”

Meanwhile, previously reported that a former minister for education, Oby Ezekwesili, criticised the decision of African countries to borrow from China, after the Asian country announced a $60 billion facility in aid and loan to Africa.

She said African leaders lack the will to carry out bold and costly reforms that will attract private sector investment into critical sectors of the economy.

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