China would 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 to Zambia, China always attaches great importance to Zambia’s concerns about the debt issue, spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, said.
The Zambian government on Monday refuted a Western media report that it did 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 this contrary to the Financial Times report.
According to the 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 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.
The Western commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions, accounted for 70 per cent of Zambia’s foreign debt, according to data released by Zambia’s finance ministry.
Wang stressed that their responsibility should take stronger action to ease Zambia’s debt burden.
“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.
He added 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 organisations with ulterior motives tended to interpret out of context and provoke dissension between China and Zambia, as well as between China and Africa.
“This can neither withstand the scrutiny of facts nor help solve problems.
Zambia and the international community can see this very clearly.
“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.
He added that China would continue to maintain close communication and friendly consultations with Zambia and relevant parties. (Xinhua/NAN)