FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and 21 Republican senators and are coalescing around a bill that aims to cut the Chinese government off from the World Bank’s lending program.
GOP Conference Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wyo., introduced the legislation on Tuesday, one day after China’s president and leader of the ruling Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. That meeting sparked feasr that Beijing could soon use its considerable resources to aid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Barrasso’s bill would establish a U.S. policy of opposing the World Bank and other multilateral development banks, which lend money to developing countries, loans to China and other countries whose economies are strong enough to survive without it.
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"China is the world’s second-largest economy, yet it continues to profit off World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans largely funded by American taxpayers," Barrasso told Fox News Digital. "While China obtains subsidized loans, it is engaging in predatory lending to developing countries across the world. As the largest contributor to these banks, the United States has a duty to make sure our money and resources are going to countries that need it most, not China."
Despite objections from the U.S., the World Bank approved a multi-year low-interest loan program in 2019 to aid Beijing with $1 billion to $1.5 billion every year through 2025.
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At the same time, China is the world’s largest holder of foreign reserves, and held more than $3 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves at the end of 2022. The Senate voted 96-0 last year on an amendment declaring that China is not a developing country.
In his statement on the bill’s introduction, which he also introduced in the last Congress, Barrasso pointed out the U.S.’s status as the World Bank’s largest shareholder.
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"It’s time to stop sending Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars to the Chinese Communist Party. This legislation will put an end to lending to China and help refocus the development mission of the multilateral development banks," the senator said.
In addition to shifting U.S. posture toward China at the World Bank, the bill would also require the Treasury to provide a comprehensive annual report on China’s status within the world’s multilateral development banks and what other countries are similarly benefiting from their programs despite having graduated from assistance.