Chinese nationals threatened in Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Updated: May 28, 2022 7:54 p.m. STI
beijing [China]May 28 (ANI): China appears to be trapped in its own web that it has woven around countries to catch them in a debt trap through its inherently exploitative Belt and Road Initiative.
Residents of countries like Pakistan and Sri Lanka who are indebted to China have now begun to retaliate against Chinese nationals.
Last month, in April, three Chinese nationals were killed in Pakistan in an alleged suicide bombing.
In Sri Lanka, after the resignation of pro-China Prime Minister Mahendra Rajapaksa, Beijing has asked its citizens working in the island nation to be on high alert and guard against attacks, according to Islam Khabar,
On April 26, a burqa-clad Baloch Liberation Army suicide bomber set off an explosion in a Confucius Institute shuttle bus at the University of Karachi, killing three Chinese teachers and injuring one.
The Baloch Liberation Army has come out against the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
In 2021, nine Chinese engineers were killed in a bomb attack on a Dasu hydroelectric project bus in Pakistan. Islamabad had to pay $11.6 billion in compensation for the incident, according to Islam Khabar.
The CPEC, which terminates at the port of Gwadar in Balochistan, has burdened Pakistan with mountains of debt, allowing China to use “debt trap diplomacy” to gain access to strategic assets in Pakistan.
Towards the end of 2021, there were massive demonstrations in Gwadar against the CPEC, a movement called “Gwadar Ko Haq Do” (Give Gwadar his rights), demanding the removal of unnecessary checkpoints and to protest against the granting Chinese fishing trawlers the right to fish in the area to the detriment of the interests of local small-scale fishermen.
In other areas where CPEC projects such as roads, railways and oil pipelines are underway, there have been protests against the forced occupation of land and the displacement of people.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented currency crisis, Colombo’s request to Beijing to restructure Lanka’s debt to China has remained in vain.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative has plunged Sri Lanka into a debt trap.
At the end of February 2022, Colombo found itself with a foreign exchange reserve of just $2.32 billion, while it faced a debt repayment burden of $4 billion in 2021-22, Islam Khabar reported.
The bulk of the debt was owed to China, nearly $8 billion, including $2 billion to be paid to Beijing in 2021-22.
On May 10, Beijing issued a notice to Chinese nationals in Sri Lanka stating that it was closely monitoring the violent turn of events in the island where it had substantial investments and asked Chinese nationals working in Sri Lanka to be vigilant and protect themselves against risks. China’s access to the port of Hambantota on a 99-year lease has not gone down well with patriotic Lankans, according to media reports. (ANI)