By Ben Brittain, Policy and Data Analyst - City-REDI, University of Birmingham
Sixty-three emerging markets and developing economies borrow more from Chinese banks than from any other nation. The figure for the US is just nine.
Chinese banks lend to 135 out of 143 emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs). Many nations, from Pakistan to Djibouti are already indebted by the expansive (and expensive) Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The two main Chinese policy banks granted more than £20 billion in loans to BRI-related projects in 2019. The economic corridor that the initiative encompasses, whilst involving infrastructure, is not about railway lines or gas pipes, it’s about China’s economic power: economic, financial, trade and then finally cultural integration with China. The growth markets of tomorrow are already bankrolled by China, and as with America in the 20th century, where money leads, culture follows.
This means there is an ongoing transition from libe...