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Why Biden’s Use of ‘Debt Trap’ Was so Awkward

This weekend, U.S. President Joe Biden made clear that, no matter how often it’s debunked, the “debt trap” will never die. Without recapping the entire debate, the talking point implies that Global South countries work with China because they’re ill-informed or have ...

All it Takes is a Simple Google Search to Confirm the China Debt Trap Meme Isn’t Real

President Joe Biden's latest reference to Chinese "debt traps" is part of a broader pattern among high-level U.S. legislative, government and military officials to level the charge against China's lending practices. It's odd that they continue to make the claim since it's been ...

Why the Repeated Claims of Chinese Debt Trap Diplomacy is So Damaging to U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. President Joe Biden’s comment to leaders from the Americas that: “I want to make sure that our closest neighbors know they have a real choice between debt-trap diplomacy and high-quality transparent approaches to infrastructure and to development,” was only a passing moment. 

New Boston University Report Challenges Chinese Debt Trap Meme That’s Still Popular With U.S. Government Officials

Researchers at Boston University's Global Development Policy Center did not mince words in a report published this week, in which they stated that "debt trap diplomacy is not a driver of Chinese lending and overseas development finance." For anyone who follows ...

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? ...

Analysis from Cobus van Staden

Misadventures in the Skin Trade

This week I spent a few days in Cape Town, in time for a minor, if telling, crisis in international agricultural trade. A ship crammed with 19,000 (mostly still living) cows was stuck in Cape Town harbor, en route from Brazil to the Middle East.
As South African animal welfare authorities scrambled to inspect the horrors on board, the city was enveloped in a powerful farmyard funk. The entire episode can ...

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 ...

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 ...
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