US Senators Demand That Countries Requesting Aid Disclose Information About Their Debts To China
A group of Republican senators in the United States demanded from the White House that developing countries seeking assistance in connection with the coronavirus pandemic disclose information about debt and other obligations to China. This was reported on Friday by Reuters.
The appeal to the US administration to introduce new transparency conditions for partners was supported by 16 senators, including the Chairman of the Banking Committee, Michael Crapo, and the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chuck Grassley. The letter they sent to Secretary of state Michael Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposes to assist in debt restructuring to States affected by the pandemic, but such support, like any other agreement in the financial sphere, should be provided only after receiving information about all obligations to Beijing, including under the Chinese "one belt, one road" initiative.
If there are such obligations, the senators insist, the agreements of the requesting country with China should be reviewed to exclude the political influence of Beijing, otherwise, according to the authors of the letter," American taxpayers will in practice financially support Chinese institutions and consolidate their influence."
The letter notes that international financial institutions - the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund-do did not have information about half of the total number of loans issued by China. And in some cases, according to the senators, the content of the agreements, which are still known, is not disclosed, which allegedly gives China opportunities to exert political influence on the borrowing countries.
China is implementing large-scale infrastructure projects on the Eurasian continent within the framework of the "one belt - one road" project, significant funds of Chinese companies and the state have been directed to the assistance and development of African and Latin American States in recent years. Earlier, in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, G20 leaders at the summit in a video format called for assistance to developing countries that may be particularly affected by the spread of infection due to insufficient development of the health system.