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BRI a tool for development, not debt traps

By Ouyang Shijia in Tianjin | | Updated: 2023-06-28 13:55
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The claims that the Belt and Road Initiative has been used as a tool to create debt traps for receptive countries are completely wrong, said Jin Keyu, associate professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

"The majority of debt in emerging markets is owed to Western institutions, multilateral institutions and financial institutions, including private creditors - not to China," Jin told China Daily on the sidelines of the ongoing Summer Davos Forum in Tianjin on Wednesday. "China has provided stable financing for infrastructure and developmental goals for emerging markets."

According to her, China's international lending practice has substantially evolved during the past decade, including lending standards and transparency.

"So, this is not a debt trap," she said. "Emerging market debt problems have been a time-honored, historical problem, even before China came to the scene. So, it has nothing to do with that. China is trying to help. Of course, it can do better with greater transparency and international coordination."

Looking ahead, she said there has to be a different kind of common framework with more emerging market representation, of which China is the leader.

"Going forward, the Western countries have to recognize that the rules of their game have to be adjusted, not only to meet modern and contemporary standards, meaning closer to the market, involving private creditors and also incentivizing China to play a greater role."

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