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As China Nitpicks Terms, Asia’s Debt Bomb is Ticking…

The $6 billion China-Laos railway that was built and financed by China and accounts for a sizable portion of Vientiane's debt to Beijing. Image via Xinhua.

As technocrats in Sri Lanka and Laos grapple with renegotiating loans to a variety of creditors, including China, the region’s creeping debt distress is slowly tipping into a full-blown humanitarian disaster. 

The situation is the most critical in Sri Lanka, where the government has essentially run out of foreign currency, triggering massive shortages of food, fuel, and medicine, and in Pakistan, where debt distress is worsened by climate change-related flooding. 

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