Heavy costs and opacity raise concerns over Chinese debt finance

Issue 431 - 28 Jan 2021 - By Marc Howard

China’s decision to participate in the World Bank-led Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) was a rare indication that Beijing was willing to join an international initiative to tackle rising financial pressures on developing economies. Its concerns about its African and other liabilities means Chinese lending “fell off a cliff in 2020”, an AIX panelist observed on 19 January, but Beijing’s commitment remains huge: the African Energy Live Data platform records some $38bn-worth of Chinese investment committed to African power projects in 2014-19.

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