According to him, all debts are recorded under Bank Indonesia's Foreign Commercial Loans.
"There is absolutely no hidden debt from China for the high-speed rail project because everything is recorded at Bank of Indonesia's Foreign Commercial Loans," Sinulingga said in a statement issued here on Saturday.
"(The claim of) China's hidden debt for the high-speed rail project, it's really a hoax and tendentious," he remarked.
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Research institute AidData had first put focus on China's hidden debt in a report entitled Banking on the Belt and Road released in September this year.
AidData defined hidden debt as debt owed to China by developing countries, accrued not through the borrowing country's government, but through state enterprises, state-owned banks, special purpose entities, joint ventures, and private sector institutions.
The report had analyzed data from 13,427 projects worth US$843 billion in 165 countries. The projects were financed by more than 300 Chinese government agencies, including state-owned ones.
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In the report, AidData stated that China's hidden debt to Indonesia had reached US$17.28 billion, equivalent to 1.6 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP).
According to the Indonesia External Debt Statistics (SULNI) report, compiled and published monthly by Bank Indonesia and the Finance Minister, Indonesia owed China US$21.12 billion at the end of July 2021.
The debt comprised debt managed by the government, amounting up to US$1.66 billion, and debt accrued by state-owned enterprises and the private sector, amounting to US$19.46 billion.
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