MarketWatch: RWR COO, Andrew Davenport, Comments on Emerging Markets’ Debt to China and U.S.-China Relations

RWR data on Chinese loans issued to countries that have signed onto Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was featured in an article in MarketWatch by Chris Matthews and Sunny Oh. The article addresses the effect on U.S.-China relations of emerging markets struggling under Chinese debt amidst the broader economic pressures being brought by COVID-19. RWR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Davenport commented,

What China doesn’t want to have happen, even if attributed to the virus, is for these countries to be unable to repay their debts, and that be seen as the epilogue to the Belt and Road experiment…The U.S. has long said that these loans weren’t driven by market principles, were not constructive, and in many instances, were serving the strategic power projection purposes of Beijing…The inability of some of these countries to repay their Chinese loans could be seen as legitimizing that message. That’s the narrative China is anxious to avoid.”

The article addresses the role of these economic forces and past Chinese lending decisions on the struggle for influence occurring in emerging markets between China and the United Dates.