World Bank hits at China over lending РFrançoise Crouigneau and Richard Hiault

From Financial Times:

Paul Wolfowitz, the president of the World Bank, has sharply criticised China and its banks for ignoring human rights and environmental standards when lending to developing countries in Africa.

Mr Wolfowitz said big Chinese banks ignored the so-called “Equator Principles”, a voluntary code of conduct pledging that projects financed by private bank lending met certain social and environmental standards. The guidelines were launched in 2003 under the aegis of the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Almost 80 per cent of commercial banks worldwide have adopted the guidelines.

But speaking to Les Echos, the FT’s sister newspaper, in Paris, Mr Wolfowitz said big Chinese banks “do not respect” the principles. He said that though Chinese banks lending in Africa were “relatively new to this kind of activity…they must not make the same mistakes as France and the US did with [President] Mobutu’s Zaire.” Joseph Mobutu Sese-Seiko became ruler of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in a coup in 1960 with US backing and bankrupted the country after borrowing heavily from western banks and institutions, including the World Bank.[Full Text]

-Also read China to Strike Series Of African Deals at Summit from the Wall Street Journal

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