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It’s China, Not Africa That Could be Facing a Debt Trap: Report

At 12% of Africa’s total external debt, China didn’t cause the current wave of debt distress hitting the continent. But the crisis presents Beijing with a dilemma: should it strongarm these countries to get its money back or trade economic losses for diplomatic gains? ...

New Report Debunks Chinese Debt Trap Narrative in Sri Lanka

The Chinese debt trap narrative was started based on the purported surrender of the Port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka. When Colombo fell behind in its payments to the China Exim Bank for the loan, the story goes, Beijing seized the ...

The Indian Pundit Who Created the Discredited Chinese “Debt Trap” Meme is Still Convinced He’s Right

The creator of the widely-debunked Chinese "debt trap" meme is at it again with a new litany of breathless warnings about the risks developing countries take on when they borrow money from China.  Indian pundit ...

Flurry of Coverage on China’s Rise in the Global South Reveals Indian Anxieties

Few countries are as anxious about China’s rise than India. However, a recent flurry of coverage shows that in contrast to the United States, India’s focus falls squarely on the Global South. These articles also show how central the Indian press and think tank community have been ...

Ethiopia’s Ambassador to China Rebuffs Debt Trap Narratives

Ethiopia’s ambassador to China, Teshome Toga Chanaka pushed back against the idea that loans from China are plunging African countries into debt traps. He recently sat down for an interview with Wang Huiyao, the head of the Center for China and Globalization, a prominent foreign policy think ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Top State Department Official Says China’s Debt Relief Offer to Sri Lanka is “Not Enough”

Another senior U.S. diplomat has accused China of not doing enough to resolve Sri Lanka’s debt renegotiation, a sign that the island’s financial crisis is increasingly being framed geopolitically.
U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Victoria Nuland said: “What China has offered so far is not enough. We need to see credible and specific assurances that they will meet the IMF standard of debt relief.”

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Report Debunking Kenya’s Mombasa Port Panic Leads to Debt Trap Reckoning from Press

African press outlets are reacting to a new report debunking the idea that China will seize Kenya’s Mombasa port in the event of a default on its Standard Gauge Railway loan. But the diversity of the reaction shows how snarled the issue of Chinese lending ...

New Report Kills off the Mombasa Port Seizure Conspiracy Theory

Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway is now arguably the most controversial Chinese project in Africa, due to runaway rumors that debt from the notoriously opaque agreement will lead to the seizure of the port of Mombasa by Chinese banks. This ...

Sri Lanka’s Debt Nightmare Kicks Off Familiar Narratives Abroad 

"We have lost the ability to repay foreign debt." This was the message from Sri Lanka’s newly appointed Central Bank Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe to journalists on Tuesday. The announcement could signal a wave of defaults across the Global South and makes Sri Lanka the newest ...

Against Debt Trap Allegations as Financial Crisis Worsens

As Sri Lankan society buckles under an economic crisis fueled in part by an enormous debt burden, China is pushing back against allegations that it stranded the desperate country in a ‘debt trap.’ Mass protests took place across ...

Fears that China Will Seize Mombasa Port Unfounded: Upcoming Report

Throughout the last two years, Kenya has been rattled by reports that its debt to China for the troubled Standard Gauge Railway could lead to the seizure of the Port of Mombasa. Since then this story and the other ‘debt trap’ narratives like it have ...
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