Debate Over China’s Debt Reignites During Sierra Leone President’s Visit to Beijing

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Sierra Leone

The debate over debt to China resurfaces on the occasion of President Julius Maada Bio’s state visit to Beijing from February 27 to March 2, 2024. Here’s the explanation:

Sierra Leone’s President, Julius Maada Bio, is on an official visit to Beijing. The head of state arrived in China on February 27, 2024, for a five-day visit aimed at strengthening bilateral trade relations.

On February 28, during a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping, the two leaders agreed on financial support of over 300 million euros for Freetown, and Beijing also announced the cancellation of part of Sierra Leone’s debt, amounting to 120,000 euros.

The issue of debt, however, resurfaces in public discourse: as the primary creditor of Sierra Leone, China is at the forefront of this matter.

The controversy surrounds the increase in toll prices on a highway financed by China, which is set to take effect on March 1.


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