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Debt Warnings Are Flashing in Laos

File image of the $6 billion Chinese-financed China-Laos railway that is a focal point in the Southeast Asian country's burgeoning debt crisis. Image via Xinhua.

How China acts in the Zambian debt restructuring process will no doubt be closely watched in Laos. This is because of rising fears that the Southeast Asian country could be the next to fall into debt distress. 

Laotian public debt now stands at $14.5 billion, of which about half is owed to China. As with Zambia, infrastructure loans contributed to this burden. Laos is on the hook for 30% of the $5.9 billion railway connecting it with China. 

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