The Birdcage: How China is establishing its hegmony using bad debts

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Abstract I n 2016 China offered Venezuela a loans moratorium for two years in add it i o n to new credits in oridf o i ncrease its oil production capacity. On the other hand, in 2017, China moved ahead and seized t he Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, after the country signalled its i na bili t y t o pay back Ch i na' s loans. A move that sparked a wide range critici sm of China's actions, accusing it of debt trapping emerging countries for geopoli t ic a l gains. This t hes is seeks to explain th is variated behaviour from the part of China by arguing t ha t in both cases, China's material i nte rests, its global power -see ki ng, and counterbalancing against the hegemon and its status quo collaborators and not the common norms and values it shares wit h the debtor's countries played t he more critica! factor in China's decision on how to deal with debtors in distress. The thes is demonstrated that a so cia l constructivism approach is not sufficient to expl ai n China's behaviour, whereas a realism approach is better equipped to understand China's behaviour better.
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