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China cancels part of Zimbabwe's debt

China has canceled part of the loans granted to Zimbabwe. This action by Beijing comes as Zimbabwe faces a significant debt, largely contracted from China.

For several years, China has provided significant loans to Zimbabwe to finance major infrastructure projects, including the modernization of international airports and the expansion of thermal and hydroelectric power stations. However, the country found itself in a situation of debt distress, with a national debt running into billions of dollars.

China's decision to cancel part of this debt is a laudable gesture, but details on the exact amount canceled have not been disclosed. Some observers say the write-off is unlikely to be very significant, given that Zimbabwe continues to increase its debt to China after the end of the regime of former President Robert Mugabe.

As of September 2023, Zimbabwe's state-guaranteed debt stood at $17.7 billion, including $12.7 billion in external debt and $5 billion in domestic debt.

Some critics accuse China of deliberately lending to countries experiencing repayment difficulties, in a bid to increase its political influence on the continent. Despite these accusations, China maintains that its relations with African countries are based on respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs.