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US researchers reject ‘debt trap’ narrative

A new study suggests that private creditors, not Chinese loans, dominate African debt. In their paper, Harry Verhoeven of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University and Nicolas Lippolis of the University of Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations object to the “debt trap diplomacy” narrative (China.Table reported). “What keeps African leaders awake at night is not Chinese debt traps. It is the whims of the bond market,” the report says. China is admittedly the continent’s largest bilateral creditor. But most of the debt is owed to private Western lenders, according to the researchers.

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