China President Xi Jinping Photograph:( Reuters )
China's reputation has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak and its Belt and Road project is corroded by a pile of debt.
An expert committee on Thursday suggested Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to not accept aid from the United States.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation, which is an American program of foreign assistance to counter China's debt-trap, had offered assistance to Sri Lanka. And hence, Colombo had set-up an expert committee to study the offer.
The experts said that the MCC agreement contains clauses that are not in agreement with the Constitution of Sri Lanka and are detrimental to the sovereignty of the country.
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However, it seems Colombo has no problem accepting aid from Beijing. Sri Lanka has set up a Joint Consultation Mechanism comprising the Chinese Communist Party and Sri Lanka's main political parties to support Belt and Road cooperation.
Furthermore, Pakistan is negotiating terms for repayment of the loan it has taken from China. According to a report, Islamabad wants to delay repayment of the loan for up to 10 years and Beijing might just agree to this.
China has paused debt repayment for 77 countries and 40 of them are in Africa alone to improve its global image. In 2019, China's outstanding debt claims stood at well over $5 trillion.
China seems to be caught in its own trap. Its reputation has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak and its Belt and Road project is corroded by a pile of debt.