Addressing Zambia’s debt was a major reason for Yellen’s visit and she said Monday that "it’s taken far too long already to resolve this matter.” The country failed to make a $42.5 million bond payment in November 2020, becoming Africa’s first coronavirus pandemic-era sovereign nation to default.
In responding to Yellen, China zeroed in on the battle between Republican lawmakers and the Democratic Biden administration over raising the U.S. debt limit to allow more borrowing to keep the government running.
The embassy statement then turned to Zambia, saying that China has made some progress as co-chair of a creditors committee seeking a sustainable solution. It said China looks forward to the U.S. playing a constructive role in the process.
“Even if the U.S. one day solves its debt problem, it is not qualified to make groundless accusations against or press … other countries out of selfish interests,” the statement said.