Zambia’s looming debt crisis – is China to blame?
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Original versionBergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Insight 2019:01)
Is China pressuring poor countries with debt? Debt trap diplomacy is a recent term that is used to describe Chinese loans for infrastructure and development in developing countries. Zambia is one of the countries where China is the biggest single creditor and a major provider of finance for development. It has borrowed heavily in recent years and is now in high risk of debt distress. However, the Chinese are not the main culprits for the looming debt crisis. This CMI Insight reviews the sources of the Zambian debts, examines how the loans have been used and misused, and asks whether any defaults will result in Chinese takeover of major public assets.