CHINA


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Belt and Road Partner Nations Ask for Bailouts
China’s Belt and Road project is an attempt to extend the country’s economic domination to more than half of the world: the country made low-interest loans to 138 nations, most of them poor, to build roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure that would bind the countries more tightly to China as trading partners.
Now that the world’s economy has collapsed, most of those countries are going bust, and they want their loans renegotiated or forgiven.
China has made about $461 billion in Belt and Road loans since 2013, according to RWR Advisory, a Washington-based consulting firm. African countries have outstanding Chinese loans totaling about $143 billion, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies estimates.
So far, China has not acted on the requests.
“It takes time to strike a new deal and we cannot even travel abroad right now,” said an unnamed researcher at the China Development Bank. The loans “are not foreign aid. We need to at least recoup principal and a moderate interest.”

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