Jun 24, 2018
For the past year or so, senior U.S. government officials been
accusing China of engaging in so-called “debtbook” diplomacy, a
tactic that Washington contends intentionally burdens developing
countries with billions of dollars of loans. When these countries,
many of them some of the poorest in the world, invariably can’t pay
them back, Beijing extracts concessions that further China’s
geopolitical interests, according to the theory that is now widely
held among U.S. politicians, academics, and strategists.
Just before they graduated with master’s degrees from the
Harvard Kennedy School of Government, then students Gabrielle
Chefitz and Sam Parker wrote a paper on the subject that went
viral, at least among those in the close nit U.S. national security
community. Sam and Gabrielle join Eric & Cobus to talk about
China’s so-called “debt book diplomacy” strategy and how
specifically how it applies in Africa.
Join the discussion. Do you agree with U.S. national security
officials who believe that Beijing is intentionally burdening
lesser developed countries in Africa and other regions with
unsustainable amounts of debt? Or, instead, do you think the United
States is misreading the situation for its own political gain as a
way to scare countries from becoming too engaged with China? Let us
know what you think.