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“Debt-trap diplomacy” has been used to describe China’s internationalization efforts such as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that allegedly force borrowers into ceding state sovereignty over strategic assets in exchange for the funding and development of infrastructure projects. Professor Deborah Bräutigam of Johns Hopkins University will examine case studies of Chinese infrastructure loans including the Mombasa Port Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya (linked to Mombasa Port) and the Port of Hambantota in Sri Lanka and present her findings that dispel the myth of “debt-trap diplomacy” as not only an inaccurate assessment but an unhelpful distraction from (1) the very real challenges of global cooperation to manage default risks in debtor economies; and (2) the large opportunities for China-OECD-developing country business engagement. She will conclude with policy recommendations for China, debtor economies and the global community.
The AGI Public Policy Webinar Series features leading academics and scholars from universities and think tanks around the world presenting current research on global public-policy issues and discussing their significance and implications for Asia and the world. All are welcome.
Deborah Bräutigam is the Bernard L Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).View Profile
Heiwai Tang is Professor of Economics, as well as Associate Director of both the Institute for China and Global Development and the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy at the University of Hong Kong (HKU).View Profile