Treasury secretary pursues crucial test of U.S.-backed effort to help developing countries

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Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema, pointing, met Monday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during her three-country trip to Africa.

Photo: salim dawood/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

LUSAKA, Zambia—Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on China to forgive debts owed by Zambia, whose two-year struggle to restructure a $17.49 billion pile of foreign-currency loans and bonds has become a cautionary tale for other developing countries.

Zambia defaulted on its dollar-denominated bonds and loans from Chinese banks in November 2020, just hours after finance ministers from the Group of 20 major economies said they had come up with a new process for restructuring the debts of the world’s poorest countries.

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