China, the Pacific, and the “debt trap” question

PORT MORESBY, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - NOVEMBER 16: (L1-L8) Niue Prime Minister Toke Talagi, Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna, Samoa's Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, Chinese President Xi Jinping, President of the Federated States of Micronesia Peter Christian, Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas, Prime Minister of Tonga Akilisi Pohiva pose for a group photo ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit on November 16, 2018 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service/Visual China Group via Getty Images)

SYDNEY, 23 OCTOBER 2019 (THE INTERPRETER) — “Debt trap” diplomacy has been a recurrent rallying cry for critics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and its overseas infrastructure lending activities. Over the past two years, this debate has taken centre stage in the Pacific, with China accused of drowning these tiny economies in unsustainable […]

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