World Bank chief calls for transparency in China’s foreign lending

Malpass says greater openness is crucial to avoid debt traps.

FUKUOKA, Japan — The World Bank is “working hard” to ensure China improves transparency in lending to developing countries, the multilateral organization’s newly seated leader told Nikkei in an interview.

“Debt transparency is important for borrowing countries to connect the debt to good projects, including quality infrastructure,” said World Bank President David Malpass, who began his five-year term in April. “It is necessary to involve not only China but also many other countries.”

China has increased development loans to other nations in concert with its cross-border Belt and Road infrastructure initiative. But Beijing faces accusations of leading borrowing nations into “debt traps” that have resulted in China taking over operations of ports and other strategic installations.

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