Coronavirus threatens China’s Belt and Road. What happens when it wants half a trillion dollars back? – Los Angeles Times
May 20, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a global recession that threatens the colossal international loan program that is a symbol of China’s growing prestige and a centerpiece of President Xi Jinping’s reign. The Belt and Road Initiative — China’s effort to finance nearly half a trillion dollars in new infrastructure across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America — took flight during a period of global expansion and easy travel that has now slammed into a sober reckoning. Beijing faces mounting calls to reschedule loans for shipping hubs, electrical plants and transport links that look unsustainable as economies struggle and globalization slows.