The amount of money that developing countries owe to China has more than tripled over the past 10 years deepening concerns about a so-called "debt trap."
The World Bank on Monday issued its latest statistics on international debt. They show the combined amount owed by low- and middle-income countries to China was 170 billion dollars at the end of last year, up more than three times since 2011.
Much of the money was for infrastructure and mining projects.
The World Bank says sub-Saharan African nations such as Angola account for 45 percent of the total.
South Asia is also a major borrower. The World Bank says China is now the largest bilateral creditor to the Maldives, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
China has been offering loans to promote its Belt and Road initiative. But that's fueling concerns that borrowers will struggle with repayment, and will fall under Beijing's influence.
US President Joe Biden took the lead to counterbalance Beijing's moves at a recent G-7 summit. He laid out a new infrastructure plan for developing nations.
Competition between China and the US is also likely to heat up over development support.