The US president said that the World Bank (WB) should not lend to China because it has a lot of money.
“Why does the World Bank lend money to China? Is this possible? China has a lot of money and if it doesn’t, they will make one. Stop it!”, US President Donald Trump tweeted on December 6.
Trump’s statement came a day after the World Bank approved a plan to support China with $1-1.5 billion in annual low-interest loans through June 2020.
In the House Finance Committee, the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said to MPs that the United States had objected to the World Bank’s new five-year framework of lending money to China as well as developing projects in the country. According to Mnuchin, lending to China needs to be limited because income in the country is growing.
The World Bank’s lending to China has decreased from US $ 2.4 billion in 2017 to US $1.3 billion this year. However, Mnuchin said he wanted to see the loan drop further, to less than $1 billion.
The United States is the largest shareholder of the World Bank, but it has no veto over lending to countries. World Bank activity in China has been under severe scrutiny in recent months after speculating that a $50 million loan in 2015 for an educational project was used to fund correctional institutions in Xinjiang. The World Bank in November said it found no evidence, but shrunk the project.
The statement of the President and the US Treasury Department came as Washington and Beijing were trying to reach a one-day trade deal in the next 10 days. Trump threatened to impose an additional tax on US $156 billion of Chinese imports on December 15 if the two sides failed to reach an agreement, a step that would strain and lead the US to tax all imports from China.