China-Africa Blanket Debt Forgiveness Not in the Cards

As China tightens its belt economically in response to the coronavirus, African leaders are anxious about the future of infrastructure projects, trade and, in some cases, are requesting debt relief, VOA reported. China is Africa’s largest trading partner with over $200 billion in combined imports and exports annually. China has also financed billions of dollars of infrastructure projects like roads, ports and railroads across the continent. But COVID-19 has taken a toll on the world economy, harming African countries’ ability to repay debt and decreasing China’s willingness to invest abroad. Observers are looking for signs as to how the China-Africa relationship will change in the wake of the virus. “The Chinese economy is taking a heavy hit from COVID-19,” said Yun Sun, the director of the China program at the Stimson Center, a Washington-based policy research center. Read more