RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Considered the most ambitious infrastructure project in modern history, almost eight years after the launch of the Chinese Communist Party’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), we analyze what its initial objectives were and the status of some of the projects initiated to see if the Chinese Communist regime achieved its goal of expanding its influence in the world.
Chinese investments are completely different from European and American ones. China is notorious for its distorted economic policies and debt-trap diplomacy. Although it provides huge loans to developing countries under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the condition of using the country’s resources as collateral has come under scrutiny.
In the event of non-repayment, China targets natural resources, with statistics showing that between 29 and 32% of Chinese lending to developing countries since 2000 has been collateralized with natural resources.
It forces borrowing countries to repay the loans in oil, metals, or agricultural commodities; with commodity prices at record lows because of the Covid-19 pandemic; the borrowers will probably struggle to produce enough to repay the loans
Djibouti, Tonga, Maldives, the Republic of the Congo, Kyrgyzstan, Cambodia, Niger, Laos, Zambia, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Mongolia emerge as states in distress over China’s debts.
China’s modus operandi was the same in Sri Lanka when Colombo needed to give up the port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease because of non-repayment of Chinese loans.
Although China’s intentions are slowly becoming clear to the world, it is still a known fact that the nations that need financial help would try to seek it in any way possible.
In this light, China enters as the Good Samaritan but could turn into a Trojan horse, given its interests and the dreams of global dominion.