‘China Must Be Stopped’: Zambia Debates the Threat of Debt-Trap Diplomacy

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Zambian President Edgar Lungu after a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, March 30, 2015, Beijing, China (AP photo by Feng Li).
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Zambian President Edgar Lungu after a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, March 30, 2015, Beijing, China (AP photo by Feng Li).
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Zambia, like several African countries, is inching toward a debt crisis, sparking discussion about whether China is to blame. With debt-servicing payments already crowding out development spending, ordinary Zambians are feeling the pinch—and their patience with the government’s coziness to Beijing, and with China's so-called "debt-trap diplomacy," is beginning to wear thin. LUSAKA, Zambia—Sitting in the lobby of a Lusaka hotel last month, James Lukuku was feeling energized. The leader of Zambia’s Republican Progressive Party, a fringe opposition group, Lukuku had gained notoriety in recent months as one of the most outspoken critics of Zambia’s relationship with China—a bond he […]

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