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Deborah Brautigam Debunks the Chinese Debt Trap Theory in New Research Paper 

Professor Deborah Brautigam, Director of the China-Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, published a new paper this month that explores the Chinese debt trap theory that is widely propagated by U.S. government officials and a common theme in international media coverage of Chinese engagement in Africa.

Professor Brautigam’s new paper, A critical look at Chinese ‘debt-trap diplomacy’: the rise of a meme, was published in the academic journal “Area Development and Policy” follows up on her April 2019 New York Times column when she became the highest profile challenger to the debt trap narrative that shapes much of official Washington’s thinking about Chinese financial engagement in Africa and elsewhere along the Belt and Road.

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The China-Global South Project is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


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