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Majlis Podcast: China's Debt Trap For Central Asia


Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov (left) walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 6.

In the latest Majlis podcast, we return to the subject of Chinese influence in Central Asia, specifically Chinese economic influence.

There have been some fine articles recently about the debt some Central Asian countries are incurring to China, and some articles about other countries, such as Sri Lanka, that are similarly deep in debt to China and are now handing over assets in their countries to China to help pay off Chinese loans.

This week, RFE/RL's media-relations manager, Muhammad Tahir, moderates a discussion on Central Asia’s financial debt to China and the potential consequences.

From Washington, Nadege Rolland, senior fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research and author of the book China's Eurasian Century? Political and Strategic Implications Of The Belt And Road Initiative, joins the conversation.

From Bishkek, Talant Sultanov, an adviser to former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Sapar Isakov, participates.

And from India, Samten Bhutia from the Economist Intelligence Unit and author of the recent report Unpacking Debt In Kyrgyzstan And Tajikistan takes part.

I love “big picture” stuff, so I was happy to make some comments on the topic also.

Majlis Podcast: China’s Debt Trap For Central Asia
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect some of the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change. Content will draw on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad. The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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