Chinese loans may put Bangladesh in debt trap

Peace and Freedom

BY  DIPANJAN ROY CHAUDHURY

NEW DELHI: Lanka’s estimated national debt is $64.9 billion, of which $8 billion is owed to China.

China is arm-twisting Bangladesh to convert soft loans it offered -during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Dhaka last year -to commercial credit (incurring higher interest rates) with apparently no headway into projects for which the amount was earmarked.

Bangladesh, however, has resisted the move to change pattern of loans for the projects which are part of grandiose OBOR project connecting China with rest of Asia, Africa and Europe. Higher interest on Chinese loans could push Bangladesh into a debt trap like Sri Lanka.

It has been learnt that the Chinese proposal was made by Li Guangjun, economic and commercial counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, during a recent meeting of the Sino-Bangladesh Joint Economic Council. However, China later showed signs of softening its stance in the face…

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