Reports emerged last week that China is planning to take over Uganda’s only international airport because of the latter’s inability to settle a debt taken from the Chinese.
I actually wasn’t surprised by Beijing’s move, this is simply because it happened to Sri Lanka some years back when the east Asian nation couldn’t repay the loans it took from China to construct a seaport. This subsequently led to China taking over the port on a condition that China would exercise control over the port for 99 years before it could be returned to the Sri Lankans.
President Xi Jinping’s inspired road and belt initiative is a policy to make China’s presence felt in the international system in all ramifications by investing and giving out loans under severe terms which may put the borrowing nation at disadvantage and which may mean Beijing taking over the control of the projects.
Experts on international economic relations strongly opined that China is using debt as a trap for developing nations, an attempt to hold them by the balls and which will give them upperhand in their dealings with such nations and their perceived western rivals.
But from personal perspective, i think Beijing is practising two conflicting systems at the same time (1) communism domestically and (2) capitalism externally. The practice of capitalism externally means Beijing is now a dangerous and evil master looking for vulnerable and helpless less developed nations to exploit. They extend the hands of generousity in one way and the opposite in the other.
Whether Beijing’s attempt to gain currency and influence over most developing nations will continue unchallenged, only time shall tell. But for the time being, its a trap that must be avoided.
Aminu Saidu, Tudun Wada, Kaduna,[email protected]