China uses 'debtbook diplomacy' in 16 countries including SL: report

2018-05-16 17:02:51

The Chinese government is leveraging billions of dollars in debts to gain political leverage with developing countries across Asia and the Pacific including Sri Lanka, CNN reported on Wednesday quoting a report.

The independent report, written by a pair of Harvard University scholars, has been presented to the US State Department.

It had identified 16 countries targeted by the Chinese government for "debtbook diplomacy, " with Pakistan, Djibouti and Sri Lanka identified as being most vulnerable.

According to the report, in some cases the huge debts grow to a size too large to pay back, allowing Beijing to leverage the loans to "acquire strategic assets or political influence over debtor nations."

This could allow the Chinese government to extend its influence across the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, encircling India and Australia as well as helping to consolidate its position in the South China Sea, the report said.

In 2017, the unprofitable Sri Lankan port built with billion-dollar loans from Beijing was leased to Chinese state-owned firms for 99 years to help repay the country's debts.

Last month, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he viewed "with great concern" any foreign military bases being built in the South Pacific, following reports Beijing was in talks with Vanuatu to host Chinese forces.

There is also concern in Washington that China is poised to gain control of a major commercial port in Djibouti, where the US and China have military bases.

A US State Department official told CNN Tuesday it encouraged China to promote and uphold internationally accepted best practices in infrastructure development and funding.

  Comments - 14

  • Reading Wednesday, 16 May 2018 17:38

    Hope all Parliamentarian will read this as many times as possible.

    Reply : 9       53

    Beetlejuice Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:38

    Only if there is something in it for them

    Reply : 0       13

    CAN BE EXPECTED FROM USA Wednesday, 16 May 2018 17:40

    Yes of course - uncle SAM is above board when it comes to such things.! - how about how USA;s haily's threats in the security council/ general assembly - to those go do not tow their line.when it comes to voting.

    Reply : 20       48

    voter Wednesday, 16 May 2018 17:43

    SL is fast becoming a pawn in the chess board of China and US due to our patriotic leader of some who hold green cards.

    Reply : 3       51

    mnsmart Wednesday, 16 May 2018 17:43

    China is better than the double standard USA

    Reply : 53       61

    alex Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:41

    China is better because they giv e you money

    Reply : 0       15

    Beetlejuice Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:43

    Let's see how you feel in 5 years time with SL overun with Chinese companies ,working you like slaves human rights ,no control of your own lives won't look so great ...and I don't see S Lankans flocking to get into China ..

    Reply : 3       15

    Buddhi Perera Wednesday, 16 May 2018 18:16

    CNN does not have to say this. Any fool except our politicians would have observed this

    Reply : 4       54

    Neville Wednesday, 16 May 2018 18:20

    If World Bank and IMF can do the same in favour of west what is wrong when China does it at least to counter American war machine in and around China!

    Reply : 34       49

    Arnold Wednesday, 16 May 2018 18:54

    The main thing is, out politicians have to be happy.

    Reply : 1       23

    Reader Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:12

    This is obvious. Known reputed international agencies carryout project viability, loan repayment ability/capacity studies prior to approving a loan especially commercial loans. With China no such rigorous study seen as in Hambantota Port and no public tenders. Present regime now grabbing a big loan for Central Highway phase 1.

    Reply : 4       28

    Lord Wolfstein Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:17

    Cancel all contracts with China, stop to pay back the loans and throw Chinese companies out of Sri Lanka.

    Reply : 45       26

    James ingram Wednesday, 16 May 2018 19:21

    The US version of the debtbook diplomacy is called ""IMF" . How come the Harvard University scholars was not ware of this ?

    Reply : 23       49

    gehan Thursday, 17 May 2018 11:43

    did any one hear the recent speech by Dr. Mathir Mohomed on what he thinks of Chinese investments in Malaysia and they have screwed up on property deals.That is a wake up call for SL, especially those JOkers who think the old rat should come back to power

    Reply : 1       15

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