Is the Belt and Road Initiative a Bold Economic Agenda or a Political Ploy?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In an ongoing series that explores different interpretations of what exactly is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Eric and Cobus are joined by Zhu Zheng, an international affairs columnist for Caixin and a research fellow at the China-Eastern...

African Governments Need to Negotiate Better Deals With China. Here's How They Can Do It.

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The problem with the “debt trap” theory is that it too often strips Africans of their agency in the negotiating process. That either they don’t know what they are doing or they’re simply negotiating bad deals. While both of those may be true, in...

China’s Economy is Slowing and That’s Really Bad News for Africa

Eric Olander & Jeremy Stevens
Pretty much every major economic indicator suggests that the Chinese economy will continue its downward momentum in 2019. Industrial production, retail sales, and even the once red-hot property market are all showing real signs of weakness. Some...

Viewpoint

10.23.18

With an Influx of Blue Helmets and Cash, China’s Role in African Security Grows More Pervasive

Michael Kovrig
China’s growing engagement with African countries got a publicity boost on September 3 and 4 with the latest Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. The triennial event brought leaders and officials from 53 African countries and the...

Whose Problem is Kenya’s Debt: Kenya’s or China’s?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Nairobi-based international development economist Anzetse Were suggests in a new paper that Kenya’s leaders, not China, should be the ones held accountable for borrowing too much money without a detailed, transparent plan on how to repay the loans...

Should African Governments Welcome Or Be Wary of Chinese Infrastructure Investment?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China announced a U.S.$60 billion financing package for African states to build out new roads, airports, railways, and other needed infrastructure. While no one questions the need for infrastructure, there are legitimate concerns as to whether it...

A U.S. View on China’s So-Called ‘Debtbook Diplomacy’ Agenda

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
For the past year or so, senior U.S. government officials have 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...

Angola: China’s Risky Gamble in Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China has loaned Angola an estimated U.S.$60 billion dollars since the two countries established diplomatic relations back in 1983, making it one of the top destinations for Chinese financing in Africa. Angola is especially attractive for the...

Tillerson’s Last Act: ‘Do as I Say, Not as I Do’ Advice for Africa

Eric Olander & Brooks Spector
There is a certain irony when a U.S. envoy travels to Africa to warn his hosts about the dangers of borrowing money from China. The United States, after all, is the world’s most indebted country and borrows more from China than any other nation in...

Chinese Bank Fined over Multibillion-Dollar Bad-Debt Cover-Up

Mandy Zuo
South China Morning Post
China’s banking regulator has slapped a 462 million yuan (US$72 million) fine on a bank branch over a massive shell company fraud, as Beijing continues to crack down on financial risks.

Special Report: Hidden Peril Awaits China’s Banks as Property Binge Fuels Mortgage Fraud Frenzy

Engen Tham, Clare Jim, Yawen Chen
Reuters
While property prices in China continue to rise, mortgage fraud remains largely a hidden danger, much as subprime loans in the United States remained mostly out of sight ahead of the 2008 global financial crisis.

China Fintech Lending Boom Fuels Risks of Data Theft Black Market in User Details Thrives as Apps Require Borrowers to Grant Access to Phones

Gabriel Wildau and Yizhen Jia
Financial Times
The rise of online consumer loans in China has spawned a thriving black market in stolen user data.

China is Challenging the West’s Dominance in Foreign Aid

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Quietly, and largely out of sight, China has emerged to become a major player in the foreign aid space, challenging institutions and norms long established by the West. Although China’s international development budgets remain a tightly guarded...

Africa Needs Infrastructure, China Wants to Build It. So What’s the Problem?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Every week seemingly brings a new announcement of a Chinese-financed mega project somewhere in Africa. Last week’s announcement of a $5.8 billion power station in Nigeria that will be financed and built by Chinese state-owned companies is typical of...

Chinese Debt in Africa: How Much Is Too Much?

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
China now owns more than half of Kenya’s external debt, and that figure is likely to grow even higher as President Uhuru Kenyatta turns to Beijing to finance large infrastructure projects across the country. Most recently, China completed the first...

China Has a Huge Debt Problem. How Bad Is It?

CNN
Credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded China this week, warning that the country’s financial health is suffering from rising debt and slowing economic growth. It’s the first time the agency has cut China’s rating in nearly three decades.

China Conducts Foreign Policy in Africa without Judgment

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
In this edition of the China in Africa podcast, we pull the focus back to look at China’s rapidly evolving foreign policy agenda in this new era of Western populism led by Donald Trump in the United States.François Godement, Director of the Asia and...

China’s New Banking Regulator Chief Faces Daunting Challenges

Bloomberg
China has appointed Guo Shuqing as the new head of the banking regulator, according to people familiar with the matter. Guo, 60, faces daunting tasks ahead as he takes on oversight of the world’s largest banking industry by assets.

China Is Facing a Catch-22 Dilemma

Jacob Shapiro
Business Insider
A subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has recently reached deals with seven Chinese state-owned enterprises to convert about 60 billion yuan ($8.7 billion) of unpaid loans into equity shares.

Obama Takes Parting Shot at China with WTO Aluminium Case

Shawn Donnan
Financial Times
U.S. is challenging Beijing’s financing of its industries with low-cost loans

China Central Bank Extends Emergency Loans to Financial Firms

Rachel Rosenthal and Yifan Xie
Wall Street Journal
Extends hundreds of billions of yuan in loans to ease liquidity crunch, continuing debt selloff

China Boosts Regional Ties with Milestone Xi Visit to Dhaka

Arun Devnath
Bloomberg
China is expected to sign off on more than $23 billion in loans to Bangladesh to fund a series of large-scale infrastructure projects

China Rethinks Approach After Surge in Lending to Risky Countries

Christian Shepherd, Lucy Hornby and...
Financial Times
Lower oil price wreaks havoc on debt repayments

Caixin Media

08.09.16

China's New 'Bad Loan' Managers: Savvy Saviors or Riskier than Ever?

As China's economy slows and defaults rise, 'bad loan' managers say they spot an opportunity to pick up bargains, because lenders are eager to shed toxic debt that might otherwise poison the broader financial system. Yet questions...

Russia Stalls China’s $1 Billion Hydropower Loan for Mongolia

Michael Kohn
Bloomberg
The Kremlin said the hydropower project in northern Mongolia could threaten Lake Baikal 580 kilometers downstream.

Loan Sharks in China Offer Student Loans for Nude Photos, Giving New Meaning to ‘Naked Greed’

Pamela Constable
Washington Post
Internet lenders are now usuing naked pictures as collatoral for high-interest loans to female students....

China Coalminers Seek New Debt Terms

Lucy Hornby
Financial Times
Some of China’s largest state-owned coalminers are asking banks to relax payment terms on loans, as a profound slump in prices devastates China’s coal heartland.

Conversation

05.24.16

How Much Debt Is Too Much in China?

Yukon Huang, Houze Song & more
In the first quarter of 2016, Chinese debt rose to 237 percent of GDP—a level comparable to that of the U.S. or the Eurozone and yet much larger than that of most developing economies, according to analysis by The Financial Times. Additionally,...

China’s Banks Report Slowest Growth in 10 Years in 2015

Chuin-wei Yap
Wall Street Journal
Country’s ailing economy leading to more bad loans, pushing lenders toward riskier expansion strategies.

China to Receive $300m Loan to Combat Pollution Levels

BBC
The ADB said that poor air quality had reached such a serious level that it was "jeopardising health and sustainable growth"...

Why Russia’s Turn to China is a Mirage

Björn Düben
Reuters
Chinese companies provide Russian companies with technology which they cannot access due to sanctions, and Chinese banks are a source of loans for Russian businesses.

China Is Planning to Rebuild the Silk Road and Transform Global Trade Routes

Samuel Oakford
Vice News
China plans to build a modern version of the Silk Road through Pakistan and beyond.

Cameroon Highlights Pros and Cons of Chinese Infrastructure Development

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
When finished, the new deep-sea port in the southern Cameroonian city of Kribi will likely become a major gateway for all of Central Africa. This will be Cameroon’s only deep-sea port that can accommodate the larger inter-continental trading ships...

China’s Mystery Transportation Infrastructure Deal with the African Union

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It’s not really news anymore when China announces yet another massive infrastructure construction deal in Africa. Typically these deals are done at the national level, so when Beijing and the African Union signed a major transport infrastructure MOU...

Conversation

10.14.14

Will Asia Bank on China?

Zha Daojiong, Damien Ma & more
Last week The New York Times reported U.S. opposition to China's plans to launch a regional development bank to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. If, as some say, the the launch is a fait accompli, should Washington focus...

Mugabe Critic: Zimbabwe’s ‘Old Friend’ China is Bleeding it Dry

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Harare-based economist and columnist Vince Musewe doesn’t mince words in his criticism of Zimbabwe’s growing financial dependence. Beijing is “bleeding Zimbabwe dry” through loans and Musewe says enough is enough. He is calling on Robert Mugabe’s...

China Pushes Cleanup of Banks

Daniel Inman and Fiona Law
Wall Street Journal
Top four lenders are raising capital and 'Bad Banks' are being created to absorb soured loans...

The Role of Trust Companies in China’s Recent Credit Growth

Nicholas Borst
Peterson Institute for International Economics
If any institutions fit the classic definition of shadow banking in China, it’s trust companies. Trust companies take money from institutional investors and individuals and make loans and investments to a wide variety of projects. 

Reports

05.05.10

Restructuring Paper on a Proposed Project Restructuring of Jiangxi Integrated Agricultural Modernization Project

Sara Segal-Williams
World Bank
The development objective of the Jiangxi Integrated Agricultural Modernization Project (JIAMP) for China is to improve the livelihood of the farmers in the project areas through establishment of integrated, sustainable, and market-driven...