Follow CGSP on Social Media

Listen to the CGSP Podcast

China Takes a Lot More Risks in Loans to African Countries Than Other International Creditors

Exterior of the China Exim Bank building in Beijing. Image via CGTN.

New research finds that China has a much higher risk tolerance in its overseas lending practices, particularly to African countries, compared to other major creditors from the U.S., Europe, and Japan. “There is a negative relationship between credit risk and Chinese development finance—a disproportionate share of Chinese loan commitments to African countries are made to governments with high credit risk levels,” concluded David Landry, a professor at Duke University and independent consultant Gailyn Portelance in a new paper published by the Center for Global Development.

The fact that China appears to have a significantly higher appetite for credit risk has prompted skeptics, particularly in the United States, to suggest that political motives account for Beijing’s willingness to lend so much to countries susceptible to debt distress.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Global South Project?


The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Global South stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalists and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Global South discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.