What benefits does China gain by waiving debt to African countries like this?
Second, we need to take concrete actions to promote common development. China keeps its word with real actions, and will continue to take meeting Africa’s needs as the purpose of our cooperation with Africa. We will work with Africa to fully implement the “nine programs” and advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. China will waive the 23 interest-free loans for 17 African countries that had matured by the end of 2021. We welcome and support the decision of Tanzania and Zambia to reactivate the Tazara Railway. China will continue to actively support and participate in the construction of major infrastructure in Africa through financing, investment and assistance. We will also continue to increase imports from Africa, support the greater development of Africa’s agricultural and manufacturing sectors, and expand cooperation in emerging industries such as the digital economy, health, green and low-carbon sectors.
I am guessing they want African countries to support them during UN resolutions, but I feel like they don't really need to waive those debts since China doesn't own much of Africa's debt anyway. Also, they specifically do this for African countries and not other countries. What are the pros and cons of waiving African debt like that?
Just to clarify what I said about debt ownership above in a response to a comment that's not relevant nor needed at all. The question has nothing to do with the alleged debt trap diplomacy.
China doesn't have a lot of African debt in terms of % of total debt. The video above shows this to be true.
More research done on Africa and how China's total debt in the region is exaggerated by narratives, but this has nothing to do with the question, it was in response to a comment that is not really needed to answer to the question.
Same thing, but for Sri Lanka: