Wang made the announcement on Thursday at a meeting with a group of African foreign ministers to monitor the progress of commitments made at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation conference that took place last November in Senegal.
It’s important to note that these grants, or interest-free loans, account for a tiny share of China’s loan portfolio in Africa — in the low single digits — and Wang’s announcement does not have any impact on the much larger commercial and concessional obligations that are due.
Also, this is by no means unprecedented. In fact, China has canceled a number of zero-interest loans to African governments in recent years.
Nonetheless, the move was touted in Chinese state media as exemplary of Beijing’s generosity as a “great power” (大国风范) and that the country acts as a “responsible power” (做负责任的大国).
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