Shut up and take China’s money!

China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative is the mother of all infrastructure projects. Costing between $4-8 trillion and affecting 65 countries, OBOR will stretch from the edge of East Asia all the way to East Africa and Central Europe – including railways, roads, pipelines, and utility grids. Most of the funding for massive deep-water ports, lengthy railroads, and power plants will be coming from the purse strings of Chinese companies. Some will be grants, but many are taking the form of loans, and when countries default there can be consequences. In Pakistan, for example, a deep-water port in Gwadar is being funded by loans from Chinese banks to the tune of $16 billion. The only problem? The interest rate is over 13%, and if Pakistan defaults, China could end up taking all sorts of collateral as compensation – from coal mines to oil pipelines.

Futurama, Attack of the Killer App by Mat Groening, 05.11.2011, Jeff Desjardins, 19.03.2018, Christoph Hein, 15.03.2018