China becomes wildcard in Sri Lanka’s debt crisis
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — China says its initiative to build ports and other infrastructure across Asia and Africa, funded by Chinese loans, will boost trade. But in a cautionary tale for borrowers, Sri Lanka’s multibillion-dollar debt to Beijing threatens to hamper efforts to resolve a financial crisis so severe the Indian Ocean nation cannot import food or medicine. ‘essence.
Sri Lanka’s struggle is extreme, but it mirrors conditions in dozens of countries, from islands in the South Pacific to some of the poorest in Asia and Africa that have signed up to Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. . The total debt of poor countries is increasing, which increases the risks that others may run into trouble.