A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday refuted the U.S. allegation that China uses so-called "dept diplomacy" to expand its influence globally, and urged the U.S. side to correctly view China's cooperation with developing countries.
In a recent speech, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence charged China with using so-called "debt diplomacy" to expand its influence around the world. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, during his visit to Vietnam, said China adopted "predatory economic behavior" and piled massive debt on smaller countries that is difficult to repay.
"The United States, presented with multiple facts and statistics, repeatedly fabricated lies and made irresponsible remarks out of its own political needs. This is disappointing," spokesperson Lu Kang told a routine press briefing.
China understands the difficulties faced by developing countries and cooperates with them using its own development experience and within its own capabilities, and China assists them without any political conditions, Lu said.
He said such cooperation has strongly promoted the economic and social development of relevant countries and improved the wellbeing of the people.
"For example, the Mombasa-Nairobi railway, which was financed and built by China, has created nearly 50,000 jobs for Kenya. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor contributed 2.5 percentage points to Pakistan's GDP growth in 2016," Lu said, adding that such cooperation is welcomed in many developing countries.
In fact, China-related cooperation projects only account for a very small part of the debt of the related regions and countries that the U.S. side has been hyping up recently, and not a single country is caught in the "debt trap" due to cooperation with China, Lu said.
"By the end of 2017, China's loans accounted for only about 10 percent of Sri Lanka's foreign debt. China's total loans to the Philippines are less than 1 percent of its foreign debt."
"The Sri Lankan ambassador to China recently said the allegation that the Chinese government had dragged Sri Lanka into the 'debt trap' was completely wrong. The Pakistani finance minister also refuted the U.S. statement that the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor triggered a debt crisis in Pakistan. I think these countries have the most say," Lu said.
At the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, many African leaders also voiced their objections to the fallacy that China-Africa cooperation has worsened the debt burdens of the continent, Lu said, noting that they had expressed their desire for development, financing and cooperation.
The United States will not receive support by indiscreetly pinning labels on China, he said. "We urge the U.S. side to correctly view China's cooperation with developing countries, and hope it does more practical things for the development of those countries, rather than stand idle and stir up troubles."
It is unethical for some country to serve its own political needs at the expense of the wellbeing of the people in developing countries, Lu added.