Executive Intelligence Review


China’s Belt and Road Is More ‘Magnanimous’ than Pax Americana or Pax Britannica

March 5, 2018 (EIRNS)—In an op-ed published in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Friedrich Wu, an adjunct associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, wrote:

“It is disturbing that commentators in the West apply double standards to prejudge China’s global intentions and behaviors—Pax Britannica and Pax Americana are considered inherently benevolent, but when Beijing (or Pax Sinica) embarks on the same path, it is derided as insidiously conspiratorial.”

However, Wu noted, such ill-informed diatribes are generated by

“critics in Washington where the profligate and cash-strapped government needs to borrow 45 cents for every dollar it spends, is beleaguered by periodic shutdowns and debt-ceiling crises, yet still insists on funding protracted, strategically goal-less and unwinnable conflicts in far-flung corners of the Earth.”

In reality, Wu continued,

“Beijing is actually behaving more magnanimously toward its borrowers. According to the most comprehensive data set on China’s development financing on a global scale, compiled and released by AidData at the College of William and Mary, about four-fifths of China’s development lending is on concessionary terms ‘at below-market interest rates.’ ”

Wu cited David Dollar, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former U.S. Treasury official, pointing out that the

“Chinese lending in recent years is indiscriminate in terms of geography and quality of governance, suggesting that it is demand-driven rather than supply-driven by a Chinese master plan.”

Wu also wrote that

“an examination of loans disbursed by the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in the first two years of its operations further confirms the absence of a political agenda in China’s development financing.”