I'm trying to figure out if some figures put out by Johns Hopkins CARI (China-Africa Research Initiative) in a WaPo piece include (or don't) the so-called "hidden lending" that China supposedly has given. According to some researchers who wrote a NBER paper on this:

Globally, the authors estimate that 50 percent of Chinese foreign lending is not officially recorded by the World Bank’s International Debt Statistics database.

WaPo/CARI claims that (only) 5% of Chinese loans to Africa are interest-free. What does the World Bank say about this? What percentage of China's loans to Africa are interest-free, according to the World Bank?

(I have a good reason to suspect a difference by source on this because e.g. the World Bank's DB says only 12% of Africa's debt it owed to China, but CARI puts that figure at 21%--and I think it's not a typo involved.)

  • I see that some CARI researches also have written about China's "hidden lending", which doubles my suspicion that they'd have included it. Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 0:34
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    twitter.com/SaisCari Maybe you could ask individuals related to the research directly on Twitter.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 0:48
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    How do you define 'hidden lending'? If a country (or a private entity of that country) pays to build some infrastructure in some other country and makes the host country pay for using it, does that constitute hidden lending?
    – quarague
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 8:24
  • Differing definitions are most often the source for greatly different statistics from different sources that are all credible.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 23:59


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