26 Apr 2023  |   05:29am IST

Beware of the Dragon’s moneylending claws

The neighbouring countries of Sri Lanka and Pakistan have found themselves caught entirely in the strategic money lending hands of China. The Chinese companies are trying to grab the properties in these countries, which could lead to international dilemmas. India cannot turn a blind eye by being under the impression that these are the respective countries’ internal matters. 

Needless to say, it’d pose grave danger to our country’s security if China gains control over seaports and airports of Sri Lanka and Pakistan. This is Dragon’s age-old practice to corner India from all the sides. Our neighbour by supplying defence-related technology to Pakistan and building roads in PoK for military transport has already made its intentions clear. 

China never stopped claiming Arunachal Pradesh as their own and by renaming some of the areas in the State. They’ve only provoked India further. Although India by holding a conference in Arunachal Pradesh sent a diplomatic message that the State is an integral part of the country, China has never been the one to sit quietly. 

Currently attempts are underway to strengthen the friendly ties between China and Bhutan. Bhutan holds 1/3rd rights over the disputable Galwan Valley over which India and China clashed about three years ago. If Bhutan comes along then it’d be easy for China to gain control over the respective territory, such is the foresight of China. On the other side, China has spread its claws deep into Sri Lanka and Pakistan in order to corner India. The Dragon has been preparing itself for the war. China has invested in African countries so that they don’t run out of fuel. They’ve also started to hoard the fuel in their country which was extracted from African countries. China had started to import iron ore from all over the world in order to manufacture steel during the Beijing Olympics. 

Low quality iron ore extracted in our Goa was exported to none other than China. There is suspicion regarding China using this steel to manufacture munitions. China has now set the trap of lending loans to weaken the economies of other countries. It seems as though China is lending loans as a way of helping and once the countries are unable to repay them, Chinese companies are encouraged to take control of the properties. Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and many more African countries have had the bitter taste of this tactic and Sri Lanka is experiencing the same. 

The relations between Pakistan and China are very sweet at the moment but only time will tell what will happen once Pakistan is trapped in Chinese loans. Caught in a severe economic crisis, Pakistan currently doesn’t have any other option than to rely on China’s help. However, the concern regarding China’s strategic moneylending is being expressed over there as well. Although it’s not possible to immediately understand for how long China’s policies will last and what will be their consequences, our country can’t afford to simply sit and watch China’s economic imperialism. 

The practice of lending loans at high interest rates to the ones in economic crisis and then to take possession of their properties after they fail to repay is not new. Many private bankers and lenders do it but on an international level could one country do this with another? China, who is possessed with the ambition to become a world superpower, is doing it and there is tension in the countries who have taken loans from it. The discussions have already begun over the possibilities of China taking control over national properties of the countries who have failed to pay the debt within the given term. The rising concern in the countries which were given loans under the pretext of help to develop basic facilities speaks volumes. China as a part of its ultra-ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has invested in Asian, African and European countries and is making sure that the developmental projects in these countries are given to the Chinese companies. 

At the same time, China imports raw material and exports the processed goods back to the same countries from which they had imported raw materials. This is how China has been able to catch many countries in its trap, most of which are African. 

International media has brought to the fore that China after making huge investments in Uganda has now taken mastership of their properties. Hence, regardless of claims about our country’s economy being strong, it’d be wise to look at China’s financial intrusion with caution by keeping in mind the country's safety. One can never tell how deep a Dragon’s claws can be stuck. 


Idhar Udhar