China’s official bilateral loans involving Ghana account for less than 5% of the West African country’s total debt, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Multilateral and commercial debt account for the vast majority of Ghana’s external debt, ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing.

Germany’s finance minister recently singled out China during a visit to Ghana, as he called on countries that have lent to the embattled nation to form a creditor committee quickly to help it restructure its debt.

China has been consistent in criticising multilateral lenders for not taking haircuts on loans extended to debtor countries while Beijing is being asked to do so on credit it has extended bilaterally. China is the world’s largest bilateral creditor.

Ghana owes China $1.7 billion, according to the International Institute of Finance, a financial services trade association focused on emerging markets.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang yesterday said that China is willing to participate “constructively” in solving the debt problems of relevant countries under a multilateral framework, in a phone call with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

A spokesperson for the IMF told Reuters that Georgieva “had a very productive call with Prime Minister Li.”

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