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  • On this episode of China Uncensored:

  • This African country now knows what it feels like

  • to get owned by the Chinese Communist Party!

  • Hi, Welcome to China Uncensored.

  • I'm your host, Chris Chappell.

  • Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa.

  • And it's poised to be the next African country to fall prey

  • to the Chinese Communist Party's predatory lending practices.

  • The news service Face 2 Face Africa gets straight to the point,

  • askingIs Zambia Africa's first casualty in China's takeover

  • after defaulting on loan repayment?”

  • Well technically it's not the first

  • don't forget about Djibouti

  • but it could very well be the next.

  • And it's all happening under the radar.

  • According to Africa Confidential,

  • Zambia can't afford to pay back

  • its multibillion dollar loans to China,

  • and so there are secret talks going on

  • between Chinese and Zambian leaders

  • to hand over the country's biggest energy producer.

  • The report says,

  • The state electricity company ZESCO is already in talks

  • about a takeover by a Chinese company.”

  • ZESCO supplies electricity to about 80% of households in Zambia.

  • So signing away control of a strategic national asset is a big deal.

  • But it doesn't end there.

  • The same report also revealed that Zambia is poised

  • to hand over the Lusaka International Airport to China.

  • That's in addition to all the Zambian copper, nickel,

  • and cobalt mines that are already run by Chinese companies.

  • And Zambia's state-owned TV and radio news channel ZNBC

  • is already 60% Chinese-owned.

  • Which might explain why you see lots of news reports lately

  • about Zambia-China friendship...

  • ...but not so many reports about all those Chinese takeovers.

  • Of course, a Zambian government spokesperson

  • has gone into denial mode,

  • saying thatall stories relating

  • to the sale or takeover of public assets

  • such as ZNBC, KKIA and ZESCO by China are false.”

  • But investigative reporters from Africa Confidential say Zambia

  • is getting owned by the Chinese Communist Partyliterally.

  • Africa Confidential also warned that the long-term outcome

  • could be effective Chinese ownership of the commanding heights

  • of the economy and potentially

  • the biggest loss of national sovereignty

  • since they gained independence in 1964.

  • Another term for this whole thing is simplydebt trap.”

  • More of Africa finds itself in China's debt.”

  • China is saddling the partner countries with crippling debt.”

  • Saddling Africa with unsustainable debt.”

  • Anddebt traphas become a buzzword that's harder

  • to shake off than a hater in a Taylor Swift song.

  • Yes, my pop culture references are very current.

  • At the recent China-Africa summit in Beijing,

  • “A senior Chinese official denied...

  • that his country was engaging in 'debt trap' diplomacy.”

  • And even Chinese leader President Xi Jinping

  • jumped on the denial bandwagon.

  • He prefaced the announcement of 60 billion dollars

  • of new funding for Africa

  • with the so-called 'five nots' of predatory lending.

  • "(China) is determined to implement the 'five nots'—

  • to not interfere in countries in Africa

  • exploring a development path

  • which suits their own country's situation,

  • to not interfere in the internal affairs of Africa,

  • to not impose (China's) will on Africa,

  • to not attach any political strings when offering Africa support,

  • and to not seek political expediency

  • during investment and financing in Africa.”

  • Ok.

  • Firstly thefive nots

  • is a really stupid name for a national policy.

  • Unless Xi Jinping means it in the elementary school sense.

  • The five NOTs!”

  • Because they're all sarcastic.

  • And secondly, go back to that opening shot of the China-Africa summit.

  • Why are most of the Africans sitting in the back?

  • Anyway, while Africa's demand for Chinese cash is high,

  • not everybody's buying into the theory of China's good intentions.

  • A specialist in Chinese Studies at Britain's University of Nottingham

  • says interference is an inevitable part and parcel of the cash.

  • Whenever you engage economically or financially

  • with another country you do interfere in the political structure,

  • or the economic structure and the power structure,

  • so in that sense any kind of engagement

  • is a kind of disturbing the status quo.

  • But that said,

  • there will at some point be conflicts

  • in the Chinese-African relations.”

  • And there's a typical formula for how these conflicts play out:

  • The Chinese Communist Party offers loans to needy governments.

  • Those governments become dependent on Chinese money.

  • Then, when they can't pay back the loans,

  • Chinese companies take over key infrastructure.

  • That's according to an investment advisor

  • and political analyst in Nairobi.

  • We cannot be naive, at this point in time.

  • We've seen countries take on enormous amounts of debt.

  • We've seen hugely inflated infrastructure projects,

  • many of which are white elephants before the get go.

  • And you don't have to look very far,

  • whether it's Gwadar in Pakistan,

  • whether it's Tonga,

  • whether it's Sri Lanka, which gorged on Chinese credit

  • and then had to disgorge their port at Hambantota.”

  • In what was pretty much a textbook definition of a debt trap,

  • when Sri Lanka couldn't afford its loan payments,

  • it had to hand over the port of Hambantota to China

  • on a 99-year lease.

  • And the Chinese regime might want to eventually

  • use that port for military purposes.

  • Not to say that's happening,

  • but...it's probably going to happen.

  • US senators aren't buying the story

  • of China's good intentions, either.

  • In a letter to the US Treasury and State Department,

  • a group of senators expressed their concern

  • over bailout requests to the International Monetary Fund

  • by countries who have accepted

  • predatory Chinese infrastructure financing.

  • They believe that China has figured out a clever hustle

  • by saddling countries with debt they can't afford to repay,

  • and then getting the IMF to bail these countries out

  • with money that comes, in large measure,

  • from American tax dollars.

  • They say the goal for China's infrastructure construction

  • and financing in other countries isthe creation of

  • an economic world order ultimately dominated by China

  • and that this poses a national security threat to the United States.

  • I should note that this letter is signed by

  • both Republican and Democratic senators,

  • proving that the threat of the Chinese regime's global domination

  • is something we can all be scared of.

  • In the letter, the senators ask how the US can educate

  • our African allies about the risks of Chinese predatory lending,

  • and how the US can provide an alternative to the Chinese debt trap.

  • And while those are both good questions,

  • for countries like Zambia,

  • which has already signed off on

  • at least 8 billion dollars of project financing from China,

  • it may be too late.

  • Well I think in some cases it's too late.

  • In some cases the dominos are falling.

  • In Zambia you've got a eurobond price at 70 cents on the dollar.

  • If you follow the markets

  • that's telling you that basically Zambia's bust.

  • It's biggest lender is China,

  • so we're going to watch this situation now in real time

  • unfold in front of our eyes.

  • And there are a number of situations

  • which are very very similar.”

  • So what do you think about China's lending practices in Africa?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And before we go, it's time to answer a question

  • from a fan of China Uncensored who contributes to us

  • through the crowdfunding website Patreon.

  • james mckay asks:

  • Is it possible that the CCP's Belt and Road Initiative

  • will encourage manufacturing production to move to countries

  • with a lower labor cost?”

  • Good question, James.

  • In a way, that's already happening.

  • That is, cheap manufacturing is moving out of China

  • to even lower-cost countries, like Bangladesh.

  • And even with some high-end products,

  • we might see it start to happen.

  • Like howin the midst of the trade war

  • President Trump is encouraging Apple

  • to move production to the US.

  • Not that Apple will do something

  • just because Trump says so.

  • But moving production out of China

  • isn't necessarily tied to the Belt and Road Initiative.

  • It's mainly because labor costs in China

  • are going up for other reasons,

  • and multinational companies want to make stuff

  • to where it's cheapest.

  • China's Belt and Road Initiative

  • doesn't exactly aim to reduce labor costs.

  • It mainly seeks to get cheap raw materials from poor countries,

  • then assemble those raw materials back in China,

  • and then sell those finished products

  • to other Belt and Road countries.

  • That's the goal of the Belt and Road.

  • Also to create debt traps that other countries can fall into.

  • Thanks for your question, James.

  • And remember,

  • you too can have your question answered on China Uncensored

  • when you become a Patreon supporter.

  • Once again, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • See you next time.

  • As I mentioned,

  • China Uncensored is supported mainly through direct viewer contributions.

  • Go to Patreon.com/ChinaUncensored or click this orange button.

  • Check out all the cool rewards you get for being a Patreon supporter

  • including, of course, having me answer your questions on the show.

On this episode of China Uncensored:

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China Is Secretly Taking Over Zambia

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    zijun su に公開 2021 年 05 月 26 日
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