Why did China quietly buy up all the post-Soviet space, except Russia

In articles on economic topics published in the domestic media no, no, and you can come across bitter complaints: Beijing is not in a hurry to invest its own billions in the Russian economy! They don’t lend, don’t break with investments ... Why aren’t we nice to our Chinese comrades? However, before lamenting this issue, you should first familiarize yourself with an interesting study recently published by a team of economists from Germany and the USA.

Its name is simple, like a nail, but at the same time more than intriguing: "Lending to foreign countries by China." In this document, the question is “sorted out by the bones” as to which countries and under what conditions money flows from the Middle Kingdom into the economy of which countries. Should I be upset that Russia is not on this list?

Unexpected discoveries ...

It turns out that according to calculations made by Christoph Trebesch, professor at the Institute of World Economy in Kiel, his compatriot and colleague Sebastian Horn of the University of Munich and American Carmen Reinhart, who represents prestigious Harvard on this team, over the past two incomplete decades, China has become almost the main lender the planet! Judge for yourself - if in 2000 the loans provided by this country to various countries amounted to less than 1% of world GDP, then in 2017 this figure increased to 6% and exceeded $ 5 trillion. At the same time, according to scientists, this indicator may be underestimated almost at times. Carrying out their research, they were faced with the fact that at least half of the Chinese loans addressed to developing countries are issued in an atmosphere of strict secrecy, which does not allow judging either their volumes, and, especially, the conditions under which these loans are granted .

And in Beijing they prefer to provide “financial assistance” precisely to the states of this category, which have an economic model related to the so-called “transitional” one. As a rule, such countries experience problems with access to global financial markets, or even are completely deprived of it. Well, the same IMF or EBRD is not torn to invest where not only the name and position of the head of the state, but also its political the course can change literally at any moment, and not by means of "democratic elections", but as a result of the next military coup. For example, in some states of Africa. And here the Chinese comrades come to the rescue.

Need money? We will give! Only close the door more tightly - we will discuss the conditions ...

Something like this is how it all happens. Today, before the Celestial Empire in debt, such as in silk, such countries of the Black continent as the Republic of the Congo, Tonga, Djibouti. These are only the most serious debtors. In general, the Celestial Empire accounts for at least a quarter of the volume of lending to developing countries. Here Beijing is already confidently ahead of the World Bank and the same IMF.

However, our country should be much more interested in another moment - the "top 50" countries that are more than firmly seated on the Chinese "credit needle" include almost all the countries of Central Asia, which are former republics of the USSR. These are Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The latter generally managed to get into the top five main debtors of the Celestial Empire (along with Congo and the Maldives). The volume of its loan obligations to Beijing is already 30% of the country's GDP. However, there is a much more interesting example - in the closest and fraternal Russia, without five minutes “deeply integrated into the Union State” of Belarus, this figure is 13%! This, by the way, far exceeds the level of the same Kazakhstan or Armenia, which managed to get Chinese loans by less than 5% of their own GDP. Thus, with full confidence, it can be argued that the Celestial Empire is a “silent glanders”, without advertising its own actions, but, on the contrary, trying to stay in the shadows to the maximum, has taken over most of what is commonly called the “post-Soviet space”. The question is, why is all this being done ...

... And even more unexpected conclusions

Naturally, in China, when one willy-nilly has to talk about its massive financial injections into the post-Soviet countries of Central Asia, they try to reduce everything to the implementation of the One Belt, One Way program. Like, we don’t need the poor and backward partners in this project, which should bring the world a whole new era of trade and, in general, cooperation between East and West. Well, how to work with such? It sounds, it seems, smoothly, quite logically and reasonably. At the same time, in no case should we forget that the same Belarus or Kyrgyzstan are, first of all, Russia's allies, not only economic but also military - the partnership between our countries was fixed within the framework of not only the EAEU - the Eurasian Economic Union , but also CSTO - Collective Security Treaty Organization. And now this already makes us think very seriously - especially if you recall what borrowings from the Sri Lankans in their time resulted in. When this country did not have enough funds to service its debt obligations, Beijing resolved the issue quickly and elegantly - they leased a newly built seaport for 99 years, presumably, on exceptionally burdensome conditions.

No matter how the Chinese “belt and path” turns, God forbid, into a silk noose on the throat of Minsk or Bishkek! It is perfectly clear that in the case when lending volumes exceed a certain amount, a completely logical question arises: And who, in fact, is the master of the country? We can talk here not only about economic conditions, but also about requirements of a political and military-strategic nature. And try not to do it ... According to the authors of the report mentioned at the beginning of the article, in the process of restructuring, China has already written off to its borrowers up to a third of their debts. However, under what conditions this was done, it remains, truly, a mystery behind seven seals. So far, the geopolitical interests of Moscow and Beijing coincide - at least on the vast majority of issues. The countries are united by a common confrontation between the two countries and the United States, and a whole host of other moments. However, who said that this will always be so ?! No matter how our country becomes uncomfortable surrounded by "allies" who find themselves in the position of those who will simply be forced to fulfill any requirements that follow from the Chinese side.

There is one more thing. Some experts in the field of economics occasionally express bewilderment over why China, which has increasingly tense (especially recently) relations with the United States, is by no means eager to participate in the long-overdue process of de-dollarizing the world economy. Usually, in this case, they “nod” the huge amount of US government debt, which has been stubbornly and consistently bought up by Beijing for years. However, the study mentioned above provides an opportunity to look at this issue from a completely different perspective! And to make an unambiguous conclusion: China is a country, almost the least interested in the world, not only in the collapse, but even in a significant weakening of the dollar! In addition to the pile of treasuries accumulated by him and the tremendous volume of China’s exports to the United States (again, in dollars), now it’s also necessary to add the debts of various states to Beijing, all calculated in the same “green” ones. And who will the Chinese comrades turn into if one day the dollar gains its real status - an empty and worthless piece of paper? That's right - to the owners of the damn breakthrough useless pieces of paper. Beggar owners, mind you ...

So China can come together over and over again in "deadly battles" with the United States, they can arbitrarily impose customs duties and swear words at each other, but Russia should not count on Beijing in a real fight against Washington’s dollar hegemony. Anyway, for all the wonderful prospects for economic cooperation with China, Moscow should always remember the main thing: they will always and everywhere defend their own interests, and this is far from always visible to partners (at least at first glance). This in no way suggests that it is not worth building strong relations with China and cooperating - how much is worth it! You just do not need to harbor illusions, and, even more so, worry about what to worry about is definitely not worth it. One of the main conclusions that directly arises after reading the study of Herr Trebesh and his colleagues: the Chinese comrades are willing to invest in the economies of the weak countries, from which they can get what they say by any means. It is worth rejoicing that Russia is clearly not ranked among those in Beijing.
We are open to cooperation with authors in the news and analytical departments. A prerequisite is the ability to quickly analyze the text and check the facts, to write concisely and interestingly on political and economic topics. We offer flexible working hours and regular payments. Please send your responses with examples of work to [email protected]
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. steelmaker Online steelmaker
    steelmaker 16 July 2019 08: 35
    China is doing everything right. After all, he is doing this in the interests of his country and for the good of his people. Our rulers can only squander it, and not create it. And we live only thanks to oil and gas. If I’m wrong, then why is the country's GDP 1-1,5% more than one decade?
  2. Sergey Latyshev (Serge) 16 July 2019 08: 44
    And what for China to invest in our corruption?
    Forest, tourism, technology samples, export - this can be spent on grandmas ...
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. Oleg RB Offline Oleg RB
    Oleg RB (Oleg) 16 July 2019 17: 34
    And my Chinese greeting "good morning" was deleted smile .
    Chinaphobia? belay
    1. nesvobodnaja Offline nesvobodnaja
      nesvobodnaja (Unfree Press) 16 July 2019 17: 47
      What if someone misunderstands? ...
      So they deleted it. You should be careful with "expressions" there - here we are not there.))
      1. Oleg RB Offline Oleg RB
        Oleg RB (Oleg) 16 July 2019 17: 49
        Yeah, I thought that I was in obscene Chinese laughing
  5. Pavel Fedorov Offline Pavel Fedorov
    Pavel Fedorov (Pavel Fedorov) 17 July 2019 17: 13
    China has long and firmly got into Russia, or rather our "ehfect" managers in the Kremlin quietly surrender Russia .... not visible ?? So why should they invest their hard-earned money ahead of time?
    1. Oleg RB Offline Oleg RB
      Oleg RB (Oleg) 17 July 2019 18: 24
      Yes, that's not even the point.
      The fact that the main fairy-tale destroys Russia is about 15 years old as already - any sane person can see it.
      And the Chinese have long been bending their line and doing what they want, and not what is imposed. And not for buzz juche, but really for people.
      That’s the whole difference. Eh sad
  6. Nikolay Malyugin (Nikolai Malyugin) 18 July 2019 06: 14
    The article of the author makes you think. And this is the most important thing.
  7. Igor Pavlovich Offline Igor Pavlovich
    Igor Pavlovich (Igor Pavlovich) 18 July 2019 07: 53
    ... uh-huh, China takes Russia for nothing, why spend money ... One "Power of Siberia" for the Chinese how much money from the Russian budget took away ...
  8. Wooh Offline Wooh
    Wooh (Barmaley) 19 July 2019 18: 46

    Why did China quietly buy up the entire post-Soviet space?

    However, it wants to bite. crying
  9. Rusa Offline Rusa
    Rusa 21 July 2019 01: 55
    And how many loans did Moscow write off to other countries? Tens of $ billions.
    And what did she get from this in return? For example, from Libya or Ukraine?
    It will be the same with China. I do not think that Washington will allow China to host in its yard in Venezuela, which is up to its debt in Beijing.
    Of course, in Central Asia, China is promoting its interests, and on a mutually beneficial basis, and most importantly, it does not violate the sovereignty of the states that are there.