Cambodia and the Issue of China’s Debt Trap

China’s debt trap, also called debt-trap diplomacy, is a topic of significant interest which has gained increasing attention in recent years. From Africa to Asia and even in South America, the issue of the Chinese debt trap associated with China’s no strings attached aid and loans have often become news headlines.

An article which appeared in Quartz last year named eight countries that are in danger of falling into China’s debt trap. These vulnerable nations included Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

Another article listed seven countries which are trapped in China’s explosive loans and seem to have neither exit plans nor the ability to repay the massive Chinese debt. These countries in alphabetical order are Angola, Djibouti, Kenya, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In December 2017, Sri Lanka handed over its Hambantota Port to Chinese companies for a 99-year lease as the country could not repay its huge Chinese debt resulting from multi-billion-dollar loans. Zambia is likely to do the same through the handling of its international airport to China for debt repayment.
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