This policy has been alleged by the U.S. Government to be a form of "Debt-Trap Diplomacy"; however, the term itself has come under scrutiny as analysts and researchers have pointed out that there is no evidence to prove that China is deliberately aiming to do debt trap diplomacy.[92] Research from Deborah Brautigam, an international political economy professor at Johns Hopkins University, and Meg Rithmire, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, have disputed the allegations of Debt Trap Diplomacy by China and pointed out that "Chinese banks are willing to restructure the terms of existing loans and have never actually seized an asset from any country, much less the port of Hambantota". They argued that it was 'long overdue' for people to know the truth and not to have it be "willfully misunderstood".[93]


Unlike many low and middle-income countries that rely on Chinese investments and aid for their domestic needs, the bulk of funding to Russia supports industries that export to China.

Although Russia has seen a drop in Chinese development funding over the years, Moscow will keep courting Beijing, said Ali Wyne, senior analyst with Eurasia Group's Global Macro-Geopolitics practice.

"Russia believes that it can advance its great-power pretensions by deepening its ties to China, which is the only country that might eventually be able to contest the United States for global preeminence," Wyne told VOA in a written statement.

Moscow's debt to Beijing totals almost $130 billion, or 7.3% of its GDP. However, the lack of grants to Russia speaks to the strength of the Russian economy and shows that China expects economic gains by investing there, according to AidData.

But Beijing's deepening economic and strategic ties with Russia come with a cost, Wyne noted.

"Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine has significantly undermined China's relationships with the United States and the European Union," he said.


The U.S. says a lot of debt-ridden countries got debt-trapped by China, but I am guessing that Russia because of its oil is not of those countries, but I am wondering if Russia largely benefited from Chinese loans, or whether the picture is not white and black and there were some issues raised by Russia about the benefits of BRI. I am thinking that the interest rate might have been different, the loans might have been structured different and the viability of some of the projects were also different, so I am guessing that BRI wasn't bad for all countries.

  • 2
    The concept of "benefitting" is ill-defined. Where there are economical gains may be political losses, and vice versa.
    – alamar
    Commented Dec 1, 2023 at 8:58


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