I haven’t seen many threads talking about China, so thought I’d put some questions out for debate to see what 'dopers think. The first one is, what do you think of China’s debt trap tactics? Basically, China uses massive loans to very poor countries as the bait, and when they can’t pay the money back extracts things like control of a port or a new military base as repayment. Now, to head the ‘but what abouts’ off at the pass, I would like to see the discussion focus on China today and what they are doing, not talk about the US (or any other country) and what they have done in the past. If you think what China is doing is fine because colonial powers in the past did the same thing, they say that if you must…then say that you are cool with those colonial powers in the past doing it as well and we can move on.
But does this tactic worry you? Do you think it’s actually a good thing for those countries getting an infusion of capital…sometimes far above what they actually need? Should other regional powers (not the US) be worried? And, long term, is this going to actually work in China’s favor? After all, this is costing China a hell of a lot of capital up front. Of course, as they are using Chinese labor in most cases (and as they expect to get possession of something they think they need strategically), it helps them in other ways. But they are really building up their debt.
That brings us to another aspect of this…the trade war between the US and China. I’m surprised this hasn’t been talked about more on the board. But this escalating of tariffs seems to be headed towards the US imposing basically a tariff on everything the US imports from China (it started at just 10% but the Trumpster et al are indicating it could be ramped up to 20 or even 25%). How will this effect China? Do you think it will have a great effect or minor effect? How will it impact their belt and road initiative and the debt mentioned in the first part of the OP? What will China do to mitigate this? What can they do, aside from imposing reciprocal tariffs on the US (though they have already reached the limit of that, since we export a lot less than they do wrt the US)?