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China defends 'New Silk Road' against debt complaints

China defends 'New Silk Road' against debt complaints

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese officials have defended Beijing’s initiative to build railways and other infrastructure across Asia against complaints it leaves countries with too much debt after Malaysia canceled two high-profile projects.

The officials on Monday said the “Belt and Road” facilities built with Chinese loans might require time to pay off but are valuable for developing economies.

The deputy chairman of the Cabinet’s planning agency, Ning Jizhe, told reporters “people’s livelihoods and economic development have been boosted.” He said, “no ‘debt trap’ was created.”

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad scrapped plans this month for Chinese-built projects including a $20 billion railway he said his Southeast Asian country cannot afford.

Published at Mon, 27 Aug 2018 12:39:37 +0000