Yellen says China a ‘barrier’ in African debt relief

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US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen accused China on Friday of obstructing efforts to provide debt relief to African countries and other developing nations at IMF and World Bank talks in Washington.

Yellen took aim at Beijing at several events during the groups’ annual meetings in the US capital this week.

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At talks with European Union finance ministers, she said the situation of African countries and other developing nations was “tremendously worrisome.”

But “very few” have asked for their debt to be treated through a G20 mechanism known as the common framework, and of those only one -- Chad -- has succeeded, she said.

“China is an important factor in why that’s not working. China is the biggest creditor in these countries and China is not participating constructively,” Yellen told EU counterparts.

Later at a news conference, she said G7 finance ministers had a meeting with colleagues from African nations.

“We recognize the importance of making progress on having a better and more effective framework for resolving excessive debt,” she said.

“And really, the barrier to making greater progress is one important creditor country, namely China, so there has been much discussion of what we can do to bring China to the table and to foster a more effective resolution of their problems.”

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