Hidden Debt Plagues China’s Belt and Road Infrastructure Plan, Studies Find
The Wall Street Journal
Hidden debt and problematic projects are emerging as features of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, with several research reports pointing to headwinds facing President Xi Jinping’s international infrastructure-development program.
Trillions of dollars in investment are needed around the world for infrastructure, which can mean anything from bridges to healthcare. China’s program represents an enormous injection of funds for some of the most needy nations, but it has stirred global debate about the way China finances and manages its projects.
In its deep dive into Belt and Road projects, AidData, a research center at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., counted 42 low- and middle-income countries that now have debt exposure to China exceeding 10% of their annual gross domestic product.
It is critical that U.S. companies and individuals be aware of the large-scale human rights abuses perpetrated by the PRC government in Xinjiang. Businesses should evaluate their exposure to the risks that result from partnering with, investing in, and otherwise providing support to companies that operate in or are linked to Xinjiang.
G7 adopted the U.S.-led proposal BuildBackBetter World as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. But can it compete with China’s investment? KeithKrach was the under secretary of state responsible for economic diplomacy during the #Trump administration. The Blue Dot network his team drafted was adopted by the Biden Administration and is now the Build Back Better World initiative. This Silicon Valley veteran has a good track record of defeating China’s economic aggression, particularly Huawei’s ambition to take over the global 5G communications.