A vessel docks at the port facility at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015. The controversial port project has become a focal point of criticism over China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the debt load it leaves on partner countries. Photo: AFP A vessel docks at the port facility at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015. The controversial port project has become a focal point of criticism over China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the debt load it leaves on partner countries. Photo: AFP
A vessel docks at the port facility at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015. The controversial port project has become a focal point of criticism over China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the debt load it leaves on partner countries. Photo: AFP
Anthony Rowley
Opinion

Opinion

Macroscope by Anthony Rowley

China’s belt and road: ‘sour grapes’ claims of debt-trap diplomacy are not supported by evidence

  • China has often been attacked for using debt to entrap partner nations, but loan recipients are most often willing partners rather than passive victims
  • The sometimes-heated reaction to the belt and road is a microcosm of the polarising impact China’s economic and strategic rise has had on the world

A vessel docks at the port facility at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015. The controversial port project has become a focal point of criticism over China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the debt load it leaves on partner countries. Photo: AFP A vessel docks at the port facility at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015. The controversial port project has become a focal point of criticism over China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the debt load it leaves on partner countries. Photo: AFP
A vessel docks at the port facility at Hambantota, Sri Lanka, on February 10, 2015. The controversial port project has become a focal point of criticism over China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the debt load it leaves on partner countries. Photo: AFP
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Anthony Rowley

Anthony Rowley

Anthony Rowley is a veteran journalist specialising in Asian economic and financial affairs. He was formerly Business Editor and International Finance Editor of the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review and worked earlier on The Times newspaper in London