One Belt One Road What the Chinese learned from Victorian era British

Karthick Nambi
5 min readNov 13, 2018
Source:Guardian

China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) policy has taken the center stage of global politics in recent times.Dubbed as the modern silk route connecting the East and West. Its an initiative by China by lending money to countries for infrastructure projects for a long term minimal interest loans covering 60 counties. Countries use the money to develop infrastructure and expect to pay back the loan through the revenue from the infrastructure built. When the plan fails it spirals the entire economy of the country into a disaster, This ends in a simple way of leasing or lending the infrastructure to China in return for the loan payment. This is better coined as

“Debt Trap Diplomacy”

Lets take the example of Sri Lanka which got a loan of 361 million from EXIM bank of the People’s Republic of China to construct a Port of Hambatota in its southern region. The Colombo port is busy so the government thought a second port can ease the traffic and bring in revenue.Construction started on January 2008 and was completed by November 2010. Hambatota port was not making enough revenue as thought and the government ended by taking the revenue from Colombo port and paying the Chinese banks for the interest.In 2017 it was decided that the port will be leased to a Chinese merchant company for 99 years lease period to get wavier from loan. This secured the Chinese government a port in the busy Indian ocean trading route and a base of operation close to India .

Sri Lanka is not the only country which is in turmoil loosing their land to China for a loan they didn't ask in first place.

1)Pakistan is looking for a bailout and cutting short in the OBOR initiative with China.

2)Djibouti gave up a port in the strategic Suez canal for a huge loan which it owes to China. 77 percent of the entire debt of Djibouti is to China

3)Malaysia’s new government is pulling out of OBOR policy as it finds no significance for Malaysian government in the project

4)There are some countries in Africa whose 1/3 GDP is Chinese loans

By trapping these countries in loans China is stepping up its game in New age colonialism- “”Debt Driven Colonialism” and its not a new concept in the game…

--

--