China Emerges as New Global Heavyweight Lender with $240bn in Bailouts for Developing Countries

China has spent $240bn bailing out 22 developing countries between 2008 and 2021, with the amount soaring in recent years as more have struggled to repay loans spent building “Belt & Road” infrastructure, according to a study by researchers from the World Bank, Harvard Kennedy School, Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the US-based research lab AidData.[0] The bailout loans are mainly concentrated in the middle-income countries that make up four-fifths of its lending, due to the risk they pose to Chinese banks' balance sheets.[0] Grace periods and maturity extensions are granted to low-income nations, while middle-income nations are deemed a hazard to the financial stability of Chinese banks.[1] China typically offers rescue loans with an average interest rate of 5%, more than double the rate typically provided by the IMF.[2] The US and International Monetary Funding have for decades been the globe’s lenders of last resort, stepping in to provide emergency loans to countries in financial distress.[3] But a new study shows how China has emerged as a new global heavyweight.[3]

0. “China spent US$240 billion bailing out ‘Belt & Road' countries: Study” CNA, 27 Mar. 2023,

1. “Belt and Road Initiative in Jeopardy: China spent $240 billion baling out BRI countries” Organiser, 28 Mar. 2023,

2. “China gave huge loans to Belt and Road countries. Now it's spending billions to bail them out” KTVZ, 28 Mar. 2023,

3. “How China Became a Global Lender of Last Resort” TIME, 28 Mar. 2023,

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