Washington: A key US lawmaker has introduced an amendment in the Senate to stop foreign aid to those countries owing at least USD 10 billion in US debt, which if passed will affect countries like China, India, Brazil and Russia.

"Borrowing money from countries who receive our aid is dangerous for both the donor and recipient. If countries can afford to buy our debt perhaps they can afford to fund assistance programs on their own," said Senator Tom Coburn, who moved an amendment in this regard in the US Senate.

"At the same time, when we borrow from countries we are supposedly helping to develop we put off hard budget choices here at home. The status quo creates co-dependency and financial risk at home and abroad," he said.

The Senator said the US Government gave USD 1.4 billion in foreign aid to 16 countries to which the US owes at least USD 10 billion each, including China and Russia, in 2010.

The amendment would not cut off humanitarian assistance or defense related activities.

"This amendment would save US taxpayers more than USD 1 billion this year, money that would otherwise be borrowed from China or Russia and then returned," he said.

The Senator said Brazil owned USD 193.5 billion in Treasury securities and received USD 25 million in US foreign aid; Russia owes USD 127.8 billion and received USD 71.5 million and India owes USD 39.8 billion and received USD 126.6 million.

Referring to a latest report of the Congressional Research Service, Senator Coburn said the US government spent USD 27 million on foreign aid programs for China in 2010.

This included nearly USD 2 million for economic development and USD 4 million for social services.

China currently owns USD 1.1 trillion in US debt.

"In 2007 China funded USD 18 billion worth of aid programs in Africa and USD 7 billion in Southeast Asia. Last month media reports stated Italy could seek Chinese assistance for their debt problems. While China is using its economic resources to gain influence, the US is giving away tens of millions of dollars to China to spend on its domestic programs," the Senator said.

(Agencies)