US senators require countries asking for help to disclose debt to China

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A group of Republican senators in the United States demanded that the White House request that developing countries seek help in connection with the coronavirus pandemic to disclose 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 Chairman of the Banking Committee Michael Crapo and Chairman of the Finance Committee Chuck Grassley. The letter they sent to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin offered to help by restructuring the debt to the countries affected by the pandemic, but such support, like the conclusion of any other agreement in the financial sphere, should be provided only after receiving information about all obligations to Beijing, including within the framework of the Chinese initiative “One Belt – One Way”.

If there are such obligations, the senators insist, the agreements of the country asking for help with China should be revised in order to exclude Beijing’s political influence, otherwise, according to the authors of the letter, “American taxpayers will financially support Chinese institutions and consolidate their influence.”

The letter notes that international financial institutions – the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund – do not have information about about half of the total number of loans issued by China. Moreover, in some cases, according to senators, the content of the agreements, which are still known, is not disclosed, which supposedly gives China opportunities to exert political influence on borrowing countries.

China, within the framework of the “One Belt – One Way” project, is implementing large-scale infrastructure projects on the Eurasian continent, significant funds of Chinese companies and states have been allocated in recent years to help and develop African and Latin American states. Earlier, in connection with the coronavirus pandemic, G20 leaders at the summit in video format called for assistance to developing countries that could be particularly affected by the spread of infection due to insufficient development of the healthcare system.

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