Even as whispers of a grand debt jubilee grow in the developed world, China on Sunday announced the suspension of debt repayment for 77 developing countries and regions as “the nation is working with other G20 members to carry out the G20 debt relief initiative for low-income countries,” the Global Times reported, citing Chinese officials at a press briefing at the State Council Information Office. The debt moratorium comes after China announced in May it would provide $2 billion over two years to help other countries respond to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ma Zhaoxu, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the fund will be not only include medical supplies, but also support other countries restart their economies and development. Ma made the comment at the press briefing to release the white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19 China in Action.”
China’s virtue signaling generosity did not end there: Ma added that China is negotiating bilateral aid with recipient countries in need in an equal manner to identify assisting projects to help developing nations improve public health standards, improve their livelihoods and resume their economies. In short, China is preparing for one massive debt-for-equity swap where China will simply end up holding the equity.
And speaking of taking over, China is doing everything in its power to get all global NGOs on its side, having made made multilateral donations to the World Health Organization of $50 million, and providing assistance to global organizations including the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. China also actively assisted in the fundraising event organized by the Solidarity Response Fund of the WHO in China; we can only imagine that’s the reason why the WHO transformed into China’s PR agency since the coronavirus outbreak.