How China is blackmailing Kenya for loan funding -US report

How China blackmails Kenya -US report

How China blackmails Kenya -US report

According to a report from the US government,  China is allegedly using the economic clout that  African nations have to further its ambitions for  worldwide dominance.

According to the US-China Economic and Review Commission’s 2023 report to the US Congress, most  African nations—including Kenya—are vulnerable to China’s demands because of the difficulties associated with debt  payment.

Some of the demands issued to Kenya include the deportation of 45 Taiwan nationals to face charges in a telecom scam involving Chinese nationals. 

“In one high-profile case, Kenya, one of the highest recipients of BRI investment in Africa, agreed to extradite to mainland China 45 Taiwan citizens implicated in a telecom equipment scam that targeted Chinese nationals, despite protests from Taiwan.”

The US noted that following the deportation, Kenya received a Ksh768 billion loan from China to open a railway from the Mombasa port to Naivasha.

“Kenya continues to deepen its economic relations with China. The year following the deportations, Kenya opened a major railway from the port of Mombasa to the city of Naivasha, financed by a Ksh768 billion ($5 billion) loan from a Chinese bank, and as of 2022, China serves as Kenya’s largest external creditor, at 22 per cent of its external debt,” read part of the report. 

“Amid Kenya’s deepening reliance on Chinese financing, in 2023 Kenya’s Cabinet endorsed a formal extradition treaty with China that appears to encompass Taiwan citizens, as well, if ratified by the National Assembly.”

The aim, according to the report, is to expand the One-China policy.

The One-China policy is the principle held by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that states there is one sovereign state under the name of China, which involves the inclusion of Taiwan as part of China.

The government of President Joe Biden charged China with implementing the policy  through initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Launched in 2013, the BRI project aims to strengthen China’s connectivity with the world by changing Africa’s infrastructure. Currently, over 155 countries have signed up for the project, signalling over 75 per cent of the world’s population. 

The United States claims that China has rejected pleas from other foreign states  regarding its continuous support of loans to African countries.

Ten years into the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), predatory lending has caused  nearly 60% of China’s loan holders to experience financial trouble, up from 5%  in 2010.

Beijing has rejected calls from around the world to address these debt issues,  preferring to take advantage of these issues and global happenings to increase the  value and acceptance of the Chinese yuan.”

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