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It’s Difficult to Overstate Just How Much the “Debt Trap” Accusation Irks Chinese Officials

Wu Peng, China’s top diplomat for sub-Saharan Africa, on Wednesday posted a tweet that featured a week-old video of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari defending his decision to borrow from China.

Wu didn’t include any other reference in the tweet and it’s not clear what prompted him to post this now. One prompt may have been the FT’s article this week on the slowdown in Chinese lending in Africa, which raised concerns about Beijing’s “toxic contracts.” It could also have followed last week’s comments by his boss, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who angrily refuted the debt trap accusation during a press conference in Kenya.

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