None of Partner Countries of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) has endorsed the allegation that the initiative caused a so-called debt trap, said a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Monday.

At a regular Press Briefing in Beijing on Monday, Wang Wenbin, Spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to the allegation that the Belt & Road Initiative creates a debt trap.

“The BRI is a global economic cooperation initiative aimed at achieving common development of all countries by promoting interconnectivity. Over the past seven years since the initiative was proposed, it has received enthusiastic response and support from the international community.

So far, more than 100 countries and dozens of international organizations have signed over 200 cooperation documents for joint endeavor to implement the BRI. A large number of important cooperation projects have been launched as well.

In the context of the COVID-19 Pandemic, international cooperation along the Belt & Road routes doesn’t stop but demonstrates resilience against risks, which plays an important role for all countries to combat the pandemic, stabilize economy and secure people’s livelihood,” said Wang.

The Health, Digital and Green Silk Road have become new highlights of cooperation, Wang noted. BRI Partner countries have held more than 30 multilateral conferences via video link this year, signaling continuous deepening of the Belt & Road Cooperation.

The 2020 Advisory Council of the Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation was held Friday. During the meeting, all participants made positive comments on international cooperation on BRI and expressed the belief that the BRI supports multilateralism and helps implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Wang added.

“Justice naturally inhabits man’s heart. So far, none of the participating countries has endorsed the allegation of so-called debt trap. The impact of the pandemic and the recession of the world economy has indeed added to debt burdens of some developing countries.

The Chinese government has exempted relevant African countries from interest-free loans due by the end of 2020, so China is the country that has contributed the most to the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative.

From the perspective of the debt structure of debtor nations, most of the debt comes from multilateral financial institutions and commercial creditors in developed countries. These developed countries should join related debt-relief actions.

The debt problem is essentially a problem of underdevelopment. We believe that the Belt & Road cooperation will help to promote infrastructure construction and industrialization in relevant countries, and offer a fundamental solution to the debt problem, ” said Wang.