Xi Jinping's representative in Zambia slammed the U.S. after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called Beijing a “barrier” to debt reform in Africa.
What Happened: Hitting back at Yellen, the Chinese Embassy in Zambia said the U.S. should clear up its own debt issues before weighing in on African debt.
"Assuming Secretary Yellen’s statements about debt were correct, the best prospect of the debt issues outside the U.S. would be the U.S. Treasury Department solving the U.S.’ own domestic debt problem, given how well she knows about facts, her professional capacities and her team’s implementation ability," The Chinese Embassy in Zambia said on Tuesday.
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“The biggest contribution that the U.S. can make to the debt issues outside the country is to act on responsible monetary policies, cope with its own debt problem, and stop sabotaging other sovereign countries’ active efforts to solve their debt issues,” it added.
The U.S. Treasury chief is on a 10-day trip to Africa, visiting three countries. Speaking in the Zambian capital Lusaka on Monday, Yellen said the progress from Beijing on a debt deal with Zambia had "taken far too long already to resolve."
"I know the Chinese have been a barrier to concluding the negotiations," Yellen said, adding that she raised the issue with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Yellen also told Zambian Finance Minister that the timely conclusion of the African country's debt treatment was a top priority for the U.S. Treasury.
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