As part of its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative to win friends and influence people, China has dished out hundreds of millions of dollars to over 126 countries in recent years in the form of cheap infrastructure loans.
The idea was to connect countries across continents on trade by creating a 6000km sea route connecting China to South East Asia, Oceania and North Africa, an element known as the “Road”.
It also wanted to create a “Belt” by building railway and road infrastructure to connect China with Central and West Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

However, the economies in many of these nations have collapsed under the strain of the global coronavirus pandemic.
And, while the leaders of those countries are increasingly worried about how they’re going to pay back their Belt and Road loans, China is suffering its own economic downturn.

China has been left “facing its own worst nightmare”.
China now has to balance providing financial relief for the suffering nations that signed up to the loans, and the needs of its own people — as its economy shrinks for the first time since the Mao era.
Ultimately she believes there will be a far more urgent need for China to spend the money fixing its own domestic issues leading to a significant slowdown in its ambitious global planning.
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