The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, May 18, listed a key condition for forgiving debt owed by Kenya and other African countries.
According to the Asian country, if it was to accept demands from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to forgive the loans, then the multilateral lenders should also follow suit.
In a statement to the Associated Press, China asked the lenders to actively participate in relevant actions in accordance with the principle of joint action, and fair burden.
Furthermore, China called upon the lenders to contribute more to help developing countries overcome the difficulties.
However, IMF and the World Bank argued that their loans were offered to Kenya and other developing countries at lower interest rates than China's.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), as of December 2022, Kenya owed China Ksh804.8 billion, making it the biggest lender to Kenya.
Reports indicate that most funds borrowed from China were released during former President Uhuru Kenyatta's tenure.
On April 11, Beijing denied claims it had trapped Kenya and other African countries with debt.
China Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin argued that China was a supportive partner in rescuing all African countries from poverty.
"China is not the source of debt trap for African countries, but a partner lifting them out of a poverty trap," the Spokesperson stated.
The sentiment came days after economic experts argued that Ruto was turning to the West after a long relationship with China.
On Wednesday, May 17, Professor Noah Midamba, an economist and former Vice Chancellor of KCA University, stated that Kenya stood a better chance to develop the country if it partnered with Western countries.
He added that the US had more Kenyan citizens than those in Asian countries. Ruto was also said to lean more towards the West than the East, where Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (retired) and the late Mwai Kibaki sought funding.
Meanwhile, on April 8, David Ndii, President William Ruto's Council of Economic Advisors Chairperson, revealed that the government directed about 60 per cent of the revenue to repay debts.
"Is public finance that difficult? It's reported every other day debt service is consuming 60 per cent plus of revenue. Liquidity crunches come with the territory. When maturities bunch up, revenue falls short, or markets shift, something has to give. Salaries or default?" Ndii questioned.