China: Big spender or loan shark?

BBC News

By Celia Hatton
COSTFOTO/BARCROFT MEDIA VIA GETTY IMAGES Workers in Jiangsu province, seen here producing equipment for export along China's Belt and Road

China hands out at least twice as much development money as the US and other major powers, new evidence shows, with most of it coming in the form of risky high-interest loans from Chinese state banks.

The sheer amount of Chinese lending is startling. Not too long ago China received foreign aid, but now the tables have turned.

Over an 18-year period, China has granted or loaned money to 13,427 infrastructure projects worth $843bn across 165 countries, according to the AidData research lab at William & Mary, a university in the US state of Virginia.

Much of this money is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's ambitious Belt and Road strategy. Starting in 2013, it leverages China's expertise in infrastructure projects, and ample foreign currency, to build new global trading routes.

Publish : 2021-09-29 15:10:00

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