Analyst Explains Why China's "Debt Trap Diplomacy" Critics Are Wrong


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China's critics, led largely by the United States, are determined to warn developing countries about the risks of borrowing too much money from Beijing. They contend China will use these loans to financially entrap economically vulnerable countries as part of a broader effort to exert political influence and control.

Mark Akpaninyie does not agree.

The former research analyst at the prestigious Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote a provocative article The Diplomat that China's debt diplomacy is a "misnomer" and should instead be called "Crony Diplomacy."

"This practice does not trap recipient countries into taking on unsustainable debt," he said. "Instead, it allows Chinese companies to profit from often crooked deals building much-needed infrastructure in some of the world’s poorest countries, exploiting the undersupply of financing and these countries’ appetite for infrastructure projects."

Mark joins Eric & Cobus to discuss why he thinks China isn't a predatory lender, as critics charge, but instead "motivated by profit and abetted by a toxic combination of disorganization, incompetence, and negligence."


Do you agree with Mark's assertion that corruption plays a much bigger role in China's overseas lending drive than any grand geopolitical plan? Let us know what you think.

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