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As Africa Groans Under Debt, It Casts Wary Eye at China

JOHANNESBURG—As international momentum builds behind debt relief for Africa’s most poverty-stricken and heavily indebted economies, a tussle is brewing between Western governments, private investors and the continent’s largest creditor: China.

Wealthy Western administrations watching their own economies lurch toward recession are loath to forgive African debt if they think the money will indirectly support Chinese creditors, while Beijing is worried about setting a precedent for widespread forgiveness.

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