China attaches high importance to Zambia’s debt issue and has played a constructive role in handling the southern African nation’s debt under the G20 common framework, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said in a press statement.

Multilateral financial institutions account for 24 percent of the country’s foreign debt, while predominantly Western commercial lenders account for 46 percent, she said, citing figures released by Zambia’s Ministry of Finance and NationalPlanning.

“They combined hold the bulk of Zambia’s foreign debt. The key to easing Zambia’s debt burden thus lies in the participation of multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors in the debt relief efforts,” the spokesperson noted.

She noted that China has supported African countries on a large number of infrastructure and industrial projects like Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Project (KGL) in Zambia, financed and built by China. 

The KGL has been put into operation and has a total installed capacity of 750 megawatts. It will reduce carbon emissions by 663,500 tonnes per year.

“This heavily-invested project has generated significant economic benefits and contributed notably to Zambia’s fiscal revenue. We believe that loans for projects like the KGL have helped bolster Zambia’s debt sustainability, not otherwise,” the spokesperson said.

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(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)