India’s Minister for External affairs minister S Jaishankar has warned nations not to get sucked into a debt trap by accepting Chinese aid.
The Indian minister made the remarks while participating in a discussion on the theme “Regional order and security in the Indo-Pacific” at the Munich Security Conference on February 19.
Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, who was in the audience, raised the issue of his country requiring funds for infrastructure projects to meet the aspirations of the people, and China offering a “basket of money” and aggressive and affordable proposals while aid from other partners came with a lot of strings, The Hindustan Times reported.
According to The Hindustan Times, Jaishankar responded by cautioning countries against getting caught in a debt trap while accepting China’s assistance. “International relations are competitive, every country will look for opportunities and see what it can do but while doing so, it’s in their own interest to be prudent about what they’re getting into,” he said.
“We have seen countries, including in our region, being saddled with large debts. We have seen projects which are commercially unsustainable – airports where an aircraft doesn’t come, harbours where a ship doesn’t come. I think people would be justified in asking themselves what am I getting into,” he said.