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Developing Countries’ Debt Servicing Costs to China Are Significant, but Nowhere Near as Much as Other Creditors

Source: International Debt Statistics (IDS) database • Data shown as average yearly debt service payments, over a given period. The projections are from the IDS database, based on debt outstanding and disbursed as of end of December 2022. China includes repayments to official and private creditors in China.

Developing countries spent a staggering $294 billion to service their debts in 2022, a figure that’s expected to balloon by a third this year, according to the findings of a new report published by the UK NGO ONE Campaign.

While China is often singled out for its outsized role in the ongoing debt crisis in many developing countries, Chinese creditors accounted for only 6.7% of debt servicing costs during the 2018-2022 period — significantly lower than the 66% these countries repaid to bondholders, mostly in Western countries.

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