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China's monitoring progress of negotiations on Zambia's debt restructuring

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema addresses a press conference at his residence in Lusaka, Zambia, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021   -  
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Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/Copyright 2021 The AP. All rights reserved.


China is closely monitoring the progress of negotiations on Zambia's debt restructuring and will take steps to support Zambia in dealing with relevant issues, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning said on Friday.

At a regular press conference in Beijing, Mao stressed that China is playing a crucial role in this issue.

“Congratulations on the significant progress made in Zambia's debt restructuring negotiations. As Zambia's good friend and partner, China takes Zambia's debt concerns very seriously. China was the first official international creditor to relieve Zambia's debt and, as co-chair of Zambia's Official Creditors Committee, led the efforts that led to significant progress in restructuring that debt. Our contribution is recognized by Zambia and by the international community. China will continue to coordinate with the parties concerned to advance the follow-up of Zambia's debt treatment,” said Mao.

“In dealing with the debt problems of developing countries, China has always adopted a long-term perspective aimed at helping the development of these countries. We call on the international community to work with China and continue to take concrete steps to help Zambia and other African countries in achieving greater economic and social progress," she said.

Zambia still has nearly $7 billion of debt on its books pending resolution.

That is despite a deal with bilateral lenders last year which treated over $6 billion.

The $7 billion is owed to bondholders and commercial banks.

The southern African country's quest for debt relief has been long and exhausting. A deal with bondholders to restructure about $3 billion of debt last October was rejected by the official creditors.

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