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Not the huge pile of debt within China’s economy itself, but the prohibitive debt it is managing countries into, via signing them up for One Belt, One road projects – projects built by Chinese companies with funds lent by the Chinese government to the host nations, thus either plunging them into decades of interest payments or ceding part-control over what are supposedly national assets. The most obvious example is Sri Lanka and its new port of Hambantota, which the Sri Lankans have had to hand over to the Chinese with a century-long lease, after repayments became impossibly high. It is not the only example: Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan and Tajikistan could all find themselves in similar positions.

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