Time: China is Bankrolling Renewable Projects Around the World because they are Climate Leaders

President of China, Xi Jinping arrives in London, 19 October 2015.
President of China, Xi Jinping arrives in London, 19 October 2015. By Foreign and Commonwealth Office (China State Visit) [CC BY 2.0 or OGL], via Wikimedia Commons

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Time Magazine, China is increasingly participating in the financing of renewable energy projects, as well as provision of renewable infrastructure. But something ugly is happening behind the scenes.

China Is Bankrolling Green Energy Projects Around the World

NOVEMBER 1, 2019
BY CHARLIE CAMPBELL / SHANGHAI 

Perched on the ochre scrub of Argentina’s sunbaked Puna Jujeña plateau, the $400 million Cauchari power station is the world’s highest-altitude solar farm at 13,000 ft (about 4,000 meters) above sea level. In Kenya’s volcano-strewn Rift Valley, a newly green-lit, super-efficient electrical substation will soon funnel clean power from the nearby Olkaria Geothermal Plant about 50 miles (80 km) to downtown Nairobi. Some 14 miles off blustery northeastern Scotland, Moray East is set to become the world’s largest offshore wind farm, helping to heat and light up to a million homes.

Three distinct renewable energy projects utilizing cutting edge technology in far-flung corners of the globe sharing one uniting characteristic: Chinese finance. Over the past five years, Chinese bankrolling of green energy projects overseas has soared as the world’s number two economy and number one polluter rebrands itself as an environmental champion.

For many Chinese investors, a combination of rising domestic competition and rolling back of subsidies at home has widened their gaze. In solar firm Sungrow’s six-story, steel-and-glass headquarters in China’s eastern province of Anhui, CEO Cao Renxian explains how “struggles with the U.S. trade war” forced him to relocate production to India in order to dodge the 25% tariffs the Trump Administration slapped on imported made-in-China panels last year.

The geostrategic corollaries are vast. These green investments chime with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a metaphorical repaving of the ancient Silk Road though a $1 trillion transcontinental trade-and-infrastructure network largely bankrolled by Beijing. It has the potential to be the world’s greatest building project since the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe in the aftermath of World War II. The BRI will extend China’s presence across the globe while reorienting nations away from the U.S.-and-Eurocentricism of the last half century.

It’s not all blue skies ahead for China. The country still generates 70% of its power from coal, and will continue to consume about half the world’s coal until 2023, according to the International Energy Agency. It also approved 141 million tons of new annual coal mining capacity in the first half of this year; in the whole of 2018, Beijing approved just 25 million tons of new coal mining capacity.

The vast majority of the more than $244 billion that China has spent on energy projects worldwide since 2000 have been on fossil fuels, according to data from the Global Development Policy Center, a policy-oriented research body affiliated with Boston University. Despite Xi telling journalists at April’s second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing that he embraces “open, clean and green development,” China has financed more than 300 foreign coal plants from Egypt to the Philippines.

Read More: https://time.com/5714267/china-green-energy/

While Time Magazine and greens gush on about China’s support for renewables, a much darker story is unfolding on the ground. Not all of China’s energy projects have a happy ending.

It Doesn’t Matter if Ecuador Can Afford This Dam. China Still Gets Paid.

By Nicholas Casey and Clifford Krauss
Dec. 24, 2018

A giant dam was supposed to help lift Ecuador out of poverty. Instead, it’s part of a national scandal, and a future tethered to China.

REVENTADOR, Ecuador — The dam sits under the glare of an active volcano, with columns of ash spewing toward the sky.

Officials had warned against the dam for decades. Geologists said an earthquake could wipe it away.

Now, only two years after opening, thousands of cracks are splintering the dam’s machinery. Its reservoir is clogged with silt, sand and trees. And the only time engineers tried to throttle up the facility completely, it shook violently and shorted out the national electricity grid.

This giant dam in the jungle, financed and built by China, was supposed to christen Ecuador’s vast ambitions, solve its energy needs and help lift the small South American country out of poverty.

Instead, it has become part of a national scandal engulfing the country in corruption, perilous amounts of debt — and a future tethered to China.

Nearly every top Ecuadorean official involved in the dam’s construction is either imprisoned or sentenced on bribery charges. That includes a former vice president, a former electricity minister and even the former anti-corruption official monitoring the project, who was caught on tape talking about Chinese bribes.

To settle the bill, China gets to keep 80 percent of Ecuador’s most valuable export — oil — because many of the contracts are repaid in petroleum, not dollars. In fact, China gets the oil at a discount, then sells it for an additional profit.

Pumping enough oil to repay China has become such an imperative for Ecuador that it is drilling deeper in the Amazon, threatening more deforestation.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/24/world/americas/ecuador-china-dam.html

The Washington Post accuses China of using unaffordable debt traps as an instrument of Chinese imperialism.

China’s debt traps around the world are a trademark of its imperialist ambitions

By John Pomfret 
August 28, 2018 at 1:26 a.m. GMT+10

Last Tuesday in Beijing, the Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, announced that his country was canceling two multibillion-dollar Chinese projects because Malaysia can’t repay its debts. “We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism,” Malaysia’s leader told his grim-faced host, Premier Li Keqiang.

To say that Mahathir’s performance was rich in irony would be an understatement: Here you had Mahathir, an Asian politician who cut his teeth on anti-Americanism, warning China that it, too, risked becoming an imperialist nation. He made his statement in the Great Hall of the People, a veritable temple to China’s communist revolution and Beijing’s vaunted claims to represent the downtrodden of the earth.

But the 93-year-old leader, who recaptured the premiership this year on the back of a campaign that questioned China’s intentions, has a point. Is China becoming a new type of imperialist power?

This question is being asked around Asia and other parts of the world after the rollout of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2013. Once likened to the Marshall Plan that revived Europe’s struggling economies after World War II, the trillion-dollar program to fund and build ports, railroads, power plants, dams and pipelines in some 70 countries is now being framed by critics as not exactly an imitation of American largesse but more as an example of debt-trap diplomacy in which China angles to gain influence overseas by bankrupting its partners and bending them to its will.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/08/27/chinas-debt-traps-around-the-world-are-a-trademark-of-its-imperialist-ambitions/

Even loyal US allies like Australia are being tempted by Chinese easy credit. The state of Victoria recently signed a memorandum of understanding with China over Belt and Road financing.

And of course the USA itself is in debt to China, to the tune of at least 1.3 trillion dollars.

When recipients of Chinese easy credit get into trouble, China always has a solution; they seems ready to jump in at any moment and use the debt distress of their “partners” to extend Chinese influence.

You could argue that China is simply trying to find a way to get a return on their enormous cash surplus. But some of these projects look like they are deliberately engineered to fail, like the corrupt Ecuadorian dam project, built in an earthquake zone on the foothills of an active volcano.

Advertisements

97 thoughts on “Time: China is Bankrolling Renewable Projects Around the World because they are Climate Leaders

  1. “Investing” in the third-world is not a good way to get rich. Neither is it a great way to win friends and influence people. Chinese investments in lawless, spendthrift, countries is not going to pay off or make China well-loved.

    I suggest the Chinese invest heavily in bonds soon to be issued by the new government in Argentina. Argentina & China deserve each other.

    • And yet I note on this site constant articles and comments claiming that on fossil fuels can raise living standards and develop the economies of developing countries. Yet as I’ve pointed out, no one has invested in fossil fuel power in those developing countries.

      Now we see why: there’s no money in it, so developing countries never advance via fossil fuels!

      • Griff’s so what is the solution … I am guessing we all give all our money .. “our” meaning not Griffs 🙂
        They don’t have any nukes or either so should we do we that inequity?

      • if the IMF would allow investment in fossil fuels then theyd go ahead in Africa etc
        without that Chines deals sucker desperate nations
        and China wins its wars without a shot fired as theyre done with funding/land buys etc to the greedy govts
        as for Victorias beltn rd the PM wasnt happy and neither was anyone else
        another dirt deal done by Andrews who is a clone of your Cali nutters.

    • You forgot the /sarc

      The only reason China is green is if it can make Green.

      The insipid windmill projects require their resources.

      Keep an eye on Mongolia Mining as its their next target… Coal

    • Argentina? “perched on the Puña…Argentina…worlds highest solar…China…”. China wants to get further into Argentina, try looking at this and see what you think: Go to Google Earth ™ and enter coordinates 399400 E, 5772200 S (WGS UTM meters, zone 19H). This is the Chinese satellite spy radar complex that they were allowed to build in Argentina by the Kirchner administration. Who’s the Good Guys? OK, that’s a hard question. Who’s the Bad Guys? That’s an easy one.

      • Bingo!
        That is China’s greatest desire; to build Chinese military installations and bases in strategic places.

        America’s past trade imbalance with China provided China with Billions that China uses.

        • @ATheoK

          Could the US spend on military-related activities as comes in from personal income taxes without Chinese treasury purchases?

          When I buy a Chinese assembled smartphone or a Chinese made violin I do not trade with China but with individuals and companies that are located in China. They do not rip me off when I buy their products. I simply choose to buy what is to my advantage. They choose to sell because I offer them the best price. There is no loser. As for the ‘money,’ it is just the unit of exchange. The dollars that wind up in the hands of the Chinese producers have to be recycled by buying American assets, goods, or services. If the Chinese choose to burn the paper you just exchanged real goods for paper that was destroyed. If they choose to use it to buy things, the American owners of those things get what they want, dollars, in exchange for what they no longer value as much.

          The trade issue is a lot more complicated than people think and most of what we hear is ignorant bullcrap by people selling a narrative. I hope that we are smart enough not to fall for it.

      • Please give me a break. The US has military installations in more than half the countries of the world. Its intelligence operations have been funding coloured revolutions in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. I do not think that China’s building of a satellite tracking station in Argentina raises to the same level.

        And let us not forget that without Chinese funding, the American government will have a hard time financing all of those activities that it is engaging in.

    • It is not China but the projects that are the problem. When white elephants are being pushed by corrupt politicians it does not matter who finances them. The end is still the same. Where the Chinese have an advantage is their understanding that the projects will fail and will require certain guarantees that protect the investors. It is not the fault of Chinese investors if a damn is put in the wrong place and is built by substandard contractors.

  2. China is awash in dollars. They are making easy money available. This temptation is used to further their global influence and control of even tiny economies. We see Chinese projects now popping up in many Caribbean nations. They come with steel and Kevlar strings attached. Typical arrangements require the nation buy exclusively from China. This turns into indentured servitude not unlike the old Company Towns. Some of the places have bravely told the Chinese to get lost. The projects we have seen utilize Chinese materials and manpower with little or no local sourcing.

    • China is about to find out what happens when you act like a colonialist before you possess a colonial army.

      • The Roman Empire used debt traps. Backed up by military might, the Romans and their debt traps were unstoppable – Boudica in England famously rebelled against the debt trap but was wiped out by the Roman military. The Romans were unstoppable, that is, until corruption in their empire led to its destruction.
        Xi Jinping is following the Roman playbook. Pretty successfully, thus far. If he does succeed, his Chinese Empire will rule long after Xi Jinping has gone.
        To prevent that, the democratic west is going to need (a) to see the threat, (b) strong nerves and (c) a very strong military.
        My assesment is that the democratic west are getting there on (a) – the media rhetoric is changing rapidly – and (b) and (c) are decidedly possible but there’s a lot of hard work still needed.

      • Unfortunately I think the rest of the world is going to find out what happens when we assume China is just a great big fluffy international panda.

        Crouching Panda, Hidden World Domination.

    • China want to dump the dollar but can’t just sell Tbonds on the market since it would undermine the price of the rest of the massive US debt they hold. Instead they are trying to get rid of dollars to anyone who prepared to swap them for hard assets like land or mineral rights or gold.

      • Yup. Their own currency is still not trusted by the rest of the world. That is partly why the US can still print Dollars that other people want to hold. Ultimately, it is an expression of trust in the economic intentions and prospects of the respective economies.

    • We keep devoting charity and foreign aid dollars to all of these developing countries.

      Why has the poverty persisted?

      Exactly because of this pattern. We extend credit, or give aid, with strings attached that give us more power in these other countries, and or the money largely supports the government reps and bureaucrats, and their cronies.

      Meanwhile, us Little Guys keep giving money to the charities with their late-night emotional charity pitches.

      Some of those organizations are ding great stuff. To overcome the problem of our own government forming a wealthy and powerful aristocracy with which to share power over these starving poor everyday people.

      We all need to wake up. Even us democrats and liberal. We spout all of this stuff about “power” but we want the government to be in charge of everything.

      Now, I no longer itemize my charitable contributions because the standard deductions make it not worth it. But I have over ten years of tax filings that show that I have been giving more per year in donations to my church than I have been paying the federal government in federal taxes.

      Think about that.

      Think about that for yourself. Look at your fed tax total for the recent few years. Then, look at your “taxable income.” Move the decimal over. For many of us, deciding to live 1. within our means, and 2. on 10% less (not a big deal), we can swamp the magnitude of government budget. Some of us do.

      I say this to change our thinking – in our minds, we need to be able to say: “we don’t need to rely on government so much. We don’t have to accept the billions for this and that going overseas, AND it is probably going for something other than what we believe it is – AND our elected officials are COUNTING on the goodness of our heart to NOT question or investigate. How dare you question foreign aid.

      And, the church finances is FAR more open and accountable than the federal government. And, no one is positioning my church to control foreign governments or the natural resources of a foreign country.

      Here in the USA, our CHARITY contributions to foreign aid – via Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, etc., are GREATER than USA foreign aid.

      And, overwhelmingly more transparent and patently less disturbingly exploitational. Samaritan’s Purse is not building any massive hydro-electric dam that will fail but entrenches the charity in a foreign government for years to come. Not happening. Patently impossible.

      Yes, you can find a missionary who exploited a person, or people. But this type of bad action is far from the scale of what our government might do and can do, because of its power.

      China is massively involved in the United States, as well as with Ecuador and other places. Now-retired Sen Harry Reid is one of these politicians enriching family and cronies by joining China in these big projects. Link below.

      Hiraly and Bill supposedly have done so much for Haiti after the devastating Haiti earthquake. So much that Hiraly’s brother ended up being granted gold mining rights for a promising looking gold field in Haiti. Link below. So, some Haitians would have steady, modest-pay jobs, and would probably be put at risk for health problems, and would modestly build local economy, while the bug dollars would head straight out of Haiti. Instead, knowing that Haiti has gold in them thar hills, the USA could produce good in Haiti by consulting some Haitian group on how to get the gold out of the ground, and somehow ensuring that the government skim a little off the top, take those tax dollars, and built in health, utilities, transportation, court system, banking, and other pieces of infrastructure that would boost a middle class and boost rights and opportunities of citizens, generally. But nope.

      In short, we need to always be thinking that these huge government project are suspect as far as solving health and poverty problems in these various countries, and we need to be suspicious of China’s efforts buying favor of USA politicians so that China can make money here. We need to recognize that in these deals China, or whomever, regularly has no real down-side – but the host nation does.

      One day, we might begin developing our foreign policy by asking how our support produces freedom, democracy, health, opportunity, and democracy for the citizens of a foreign country, not how we can get rich off of it.

      We “Democrats” used to value the Little Guy, and would frown upon cronyism. Now, we have morphed into what we declared we disliked. Some of us stil have those values. In fact, we have overlapping values with conservatives – some of them – who want limited government for their own reasons.

      We don’t have many elected officials in DC, (R) o (D), with these views. We may end up like Ecuador, sold out by politicians and dependent on China.

      https://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-standoff/2018/01/cliven_bundy_standoff_case_thr.html

      https://www.opednews.com/articles/Recently-Leaked-Documents-by-Georgianne-Nienabe-Clinton-Bill_Clinton-Cash_Clinton-Foundation_Donors-160823-957.html

      • Excellent comment, TheLastDemocrat.

        I often despair about how the votes, efforts, and donations, of those who only wish to do good so often run into the sand. I guess there is no substitute for all of us being eternally vigilant about what we are doing or supporting.

      • and wasnt Bundys land wanted BY a political buddy of ohbummers who wanted to sell it to china for some solar farm stunt?

        • Their was a story that Harry Reid’s son was in a deal with China to get China land in order for China to make a big solar farm. It turns out that the land was not the BLM managed land upon which Bundys were grazing their livestock.

          I am suspicious of all of this, however, but we do not get good info out of our government. One modus operandi is that the government can declare land to be under BLM, and then figure out other things to do with that land.

          There is a lot of uranium in the ground in this region of our nation.

  3. I suggest that people visit China, travel on a fast train, drive on a freeway, spend a week in a high rise in forest of skyscrapers, every room with a window, surrounded in gardens, pay for all you needs using your phone, travel by Metro with trains three minutes apart, be amazed at the infrastructure investment, the use of glazed ceramics on the walls of buildings so that they stay clean and don’t support fire, talk to people who work 12 hour days six or seven hours a week and never complain, don’t ask to form a union, aren’t overweight….. witness regional growth rates of more than 10%, are focused on lifting people out of poverty as the no 1 aim in the current five year plan where you can buy a drink anywhere and there are no drunks. Electric motorbikes. No two strokes, no pollution. Spend at least two weeks there in a big city like Guangzhou or Chongqing.

    Infrastructure is what the Chinese do well. Very strong. With good aesthetic sense and a a couple of thousand year heritage of learning, scholarship and respect for craftsmanship.

    • You forgot the unicorns, never forget the unicorns.
      I am wondering, did your handlers let you tour the countryside on your own? What you describe is not the real china for chinese, but the china for foreign dupes.

      • The Chinese half of my family lives in a small city. Their middle class life is quite similar to my own. Well, except that they have a different word for everything. (apologies to Steve Martin)

        My parents survived the dirty thirties in the dust bowl as well as WW2. My Chinese relatives survived the cultural revolution. So both sides of the family have the experience of economic misery.

        The Chinese middle class now outnumbers the whole population of America plus Canada. link

        • If you become a recognized forced-abortion protester, the government will not imprison your family.

          Chen Guangchen.

          You never heard this in our media. Why not? Because Hiraly was Secy of State, and abortion is an issue near and dear to her heart. So much so that she has been given the “Maggie” award, named after Margaret Sanger. Who went to China in the 1920s to promote abortion as a means for boosting the economic profile of China and other third world countries.

          “Treatment of family and associates:

          While Chen was living under house arrest, several of his family members also reportedly faced harassment and confinement by authorities. His elderly mother, Wang Jinxiang, recalled being continuously followed by three security agents.[69] The BBC reported in May 2012 that she remained under house arrest.[70] Before leaving China in the spring of 2012, Chen expressed concern that his relatives and other activists who had helped him evade capture would be punished by Chinese officials after his departure.

          On 27 April 2012, soon after Chen escaped house arrest, plainclothes security agents forced entry into the home of his eldest brother, Chen Guangfu. Believing that the elder brother had information on Chen’s escape, police took him to a police station for interrogation, and reportedly chained his feet, slapped him, and struck him with a belt.[71] Police officers then allegedly returned to the family’s home and proceeded to beat Guangfu’s wife and son. His son, Chen Kegui, pulled a knife and slashed at three of the officers, causing minor injuries.[70] He was taken into custody and faces criminal charges for attempted murder.[72] On 24 May, it was reported that Chen Guangfu had escaped to Beijing from his guarded village to advocate on behalf of his son.[73] In November 2012, Chen Kegui was sentenced to more than three years in prison.[74]

          On 4 November 2013, Chen Guangfu said he would fly to New York City with his mother two days later for a reunion with his brother Chen Guangcheng.[75] ”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chen_Guangcheng#Treatment_of_family_and_associates

    • All that is true.

      On the other hand, the west used to be amazing. It really doesn’t matter what the developed world does at home. For years, the developed world has been saddling the third world with huge debts to pay for giant projects that do not actually move the third world ahead. Even foreign aid is now seen as counterproductive.

      Malaysia can’t repay its debts. “We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism” …

      Bing Bing Bing Bing! It’s just the old same thing. Deja vu all over again.

    • Wow….amazing how quickly Chinese trolls jump onto any post criticizing their masters.

      Pretty much EVERY SINGLE ONE of those statements is false.

    • I have spent two weeks in chongqing in 2016 and it is a completye and total 5h1th0le. Also spent two weeks in Xi-an which was much better.

    • Might vary by location. I spent some time in some lesser traveled parts of China a couple years back. Took the high speed train from Dalian to Harbin. I’d give them good marks for building but poor ones for maintenance. Common areas for high rises more than a couple years old were not pleasant. They are big on appearance but not so much on what’s below the surface. I can’t imagine what you mean by drive the highways there. Open gas stations are far darker at night than ours when they are closed. I saw people down injured on the roads and cars scrambling by. KFC and McDonalds are very big there. I did not find much to be envious of.

    • I’ve seen open manholes, rebar sticking out of the ground, highways that dead end if one takes the wrong turn and other dangerous conditions, not to mention unfinished buildings falling apart because they are not maintained.

      No pollution, no drunks is not the reality, and China leads the world in cigarette smoking.

      • They also lead the world in installing mega tons of Russian killer asbestos.
        I have visited practically every single major city in China.
        On the surface looky/feely great.

        But:-
        Yes scores of zombie cities with nobody in them, suicidal rate of smoking, an unsustainable life style indebted to mass abortion and persecution of minorities,never mind the smog and Harbin’s particulate records.

        All looks great on the surface, but westerners are great at doing superficiality, which of course is why they buy dumped chinese goods like no tomorrow.
        Chinese exports and real estate depend on dumping.

        That is the advantage of an authoritarian system, you can make people believe just about anything.
        Sadly not getting much better in the so called ‘free thinking west these days…
        Brainwashing is IN, Orwell is OUT.

    • Last time I visited China, my name was read off a list of 3 people, the other two of whom were not on the flight, I was detained by a Red Army Guard who simply glared at me for a full minute without speaking before letting me catch my connecting flight.

      I can take a hint.

      • Red Army Guard? The red army was a soviet thing, not Chinese . Red Guard was a bunch of mainly teenage radicals that destroyed cultural heritage and performed various atrocities. They were hunted down and abolished by the PLA before 1970. When did this event in your life occur? The PLA have nothing to do with immigration. That is something done by public security. Are you sure you weren’t drunk and disorderly on the flight and your recollection is a little fuzzy? What have you done that would put you on a list in China? Why did they give you a Visa? Was it just a connecting flight and you weren’t actually visiting China? It sounds like such a unique and interesting experience. Nothing like my experiences of leaving and entering China on numerous occasions.

    • I see that my first comment on chongqing has not been allowed through. So I will try again and be polite.
      I spent two weeks in this city are Erl suggests. THe polution was so bad that you could not see firther than 75 yards and each day I had to use eyewash when i returned to my hotel. People were pulling their cars over and urinating in the streets then driving off again. I was hit by garbage that had been thrown out of the window of one of these high rise buildings of which none of them overlooked gardens. This is the difference in going to the real city and not the pretty tourist area. The place and the people are hazardous to your health.

    • You clearly went there for an adventure and you had it. I went for 1 years teaching and stayed for 14. I loved it. Warts and all.
      For the benefit of the armchair experts, I’m not a paid shill of the chinese government.

    • I have tried to post twice about chongqing and they have been blocked. Can someone tell me why? Is it just that they were uncomplimentary?

  4. The United states has “invested” in developing nations for a very good reason. We were developing markets for American goods and services. Poorer nations want a better standard of living and all the nice things developed nations can afford, but they cannot. So as the general population becomes “richer” we will ave additional markets for our products.
    I don’t believe that the primary reason for investment is to become “rent seekers” on their infrastructure, although that has occurred.

    • Rocket
      You may find reading confession’s of an economic Hitman by John Perkins alluminating.
      Also the secret history of the American empire, same author.

      Perkins writes it how it was done. I am reminded of Jim Morrison’s lyrics, the west is the best, let us in we’ll do the rest.

      There is nothing new in what China is doing, mostly it has a good outcome. Corruption is a problem in the recieving country.

      China is doing a lot more good than harm. Erl Happ’s comments above are extremely relevant.

    • But, RocketScientist, “all the nice things” are, increasingly, manufactured in the PRC.

  5. They’re bankrolling renewables because they will be able to use the finances of the failed projects to “leverage” those countries for decades, without having to provide fuel to the victims.

      • Japan is selling things overseas to make money.

        China has a well-established history of selling “infrastructure” that nets them military control.

  6. The Chinese debt trap argument has been debunked. It was created as another anti-China propaganda piece by the US intelligence community to counter China’s Silk Road project and overall economic success. https://schillerinstitute.com/why-chinas-debtbook-diplomacy-is-a-hoax/ https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/26/opinion/china-belt-road-initiative.html

    I wish opinions on this blog were limited to climate and weather, not geopolitical opinions not within the author’s expertise.

    • PR … said the pot calling the kettle black.

      Hmmm … if you are serious — I don’t know, maybe you are being sarcastic — where you believe that blogs such as this should not deal with geopolitical opinions, why, then, did you start off your posting with your own geopolitical opinion?

      And, no, I am not being sarcastic.

    • Peter,
      Unfortunately, the motivation behind the hysteria about anthropogenic global warming is political. So, it is appropriate to step back from the science and look at what is influencing the claims. There are already plenty of reasons to question the alarmists claims. One should be looking for reasons why politicians and the Media are ignoring the counter evidence and resorting to ad hominem attacks on those who try to get those in a position of influence to acknowledge that “The king has no clothes.”

    • Sorry Peter.

      It appears you did not read the article and instead link to a fake news articles that could have been written by the Chinese department of propaganda, that has no facts to support the writer’s ‘opinion’ which for some reason is also your opinion.

      What is your issue? Do you find real world issues to complicate? Why not go to a different thread.

      Facts and logic are required to support a position, an assertion. A position supported by facts and logic is completely different than an opinion.

      China has a plan. Chinese loans require collateral. For example, natural resources such all of the developing country’s oil.

    • “China’s ‘debt trap’ is mythical, and doesn’t work, and besides, everyone else did it a hundred years ago! And they’re running short of cash, so they can’t do as much of it as they used to!”

  7. China wants to be (and perhaps now is) the head of the Big Clime Syndicate, and is laughing all the way to the bank, and towards being even more powerful than the US. I guess there is a method to Trump’s madness.

  8. Isn’t that funny : China is making millions from manufacturing and exporting renewable plants – and at the same time stopping subsidies for these at home. The are laughing all the way to the bank – showing us all how to be cynical, successful capitalists (an art we here in the West seem to have forgotten)..

    • funnier was they moved manufacture(not the actual making0 to india to avoid your tariffs
      so they still gain by near slave labout just not at home.
      and then your govt subsidises the pv
      now thats funny

  9. The chinese have done the same in Sri Lanka, and pakistan, with both countries not being able to pay back the debt for new ports made. Add Malaysia and now To settle the bill, China gets to keep 80 percent of Ecuador’s most valuable export — oil 😐 China is all over africa as well… Only a crackhead Green would think china is doing good work!! Also wind generators are utterly ugly, loud and block beautiful views of nature.

  10. How many coal burning electrical plants is China financing inside and outside its borders? Over 1000 at last count and that may be conservative.

    The Chinese never met an energy source they didn’t like. They will use whatever works and whatever they can make the most money with.

    • One thing I don’t see mentioned here is the green slush fund. Presumably all the “low carbon” projects will be eligible to claim a few billion from the UN’s GSF.

  11. Naturally, Time would make no mention of the protectionist moves in India against foreign solar PV imports that go well beyond tariffs.

  12. I’m not sure why China wants to cultivate a green image, but they have certainly figured out that being a green leader does not require actually being green.

  13. “To settle the bill, China gets to keep 80 percent of Ecuador’s most valuable export — oil — because many of the contracts are repaid in petroleum, not dollars. In fact, China gets the oil at a discount, then sells it for an additional profit.” article

    Oh, gee whiz, why is there ZERO surprise in this? If this weren’t so obnoxious, it would be a gigglsnrrtt! but it is truly obnoxious, beyond words! And the only people who get stung are – guess who? – the people of Ecuador!

    No words from me about Argentina. Too … well, never mind!

    • If Ecuadors leaders had any balls, they’d cite all the bribery and corruption (from the now imprisoned officials) as grounds for declaring the contracts invalid, null and void.

  14. China is deliberately trying to create vassal states through debt. If the west was doing it everyone would be crying colonialism. The American counterweight to China seems to be failing as Trump withdraws from worldwide engagement and often antagonises friends.

    I say that as someone fairly neutral about Trump, but he seems not to have heard of Pax Romanus, Pax Britannica and until very recently Pax Americana. This enabled the empire concerned to project its military power and at the same time gain enormously through trade, the spread of its culture, ideas, philosophies and its ability to influence.

    I fear that Pax Sino will be no where near as comfortable for westerners/freedom as the last three great dominant empires and it may be too late to do anything.

    tonyb

    • Don’t know if Trump bears much of the blame. US Presidents going back to Carter have been selling out the US to benefit China

      – Carter and the treaty with Panama that permanently expired the US lease of the Panama Canal zone in 1999. Several presidents since Carter did not renegotiate the treaty. Guess who is aggressively investing in Canal Zone ports.

      – Clinton waiving national security restrictions so US companies (Hughes) to sell advanced missile guidance technology to China

      – Obama approving the sale of the port of Long Beach to Chinese government owned and run Cosco.

      – A bunch of fools thinking that granting most favored nation trade status to China permanently in 2001 was a good idea.

      – A cast of CEO fools believing that they were dealing with open markets in China, and essentially giving away trade secrets and IP for the privilege of doing business in China (the Motorola CEO is one of the smart few who wised up quickly, left China, and stopped giving away the farm)

      – wholesale transfer of US manufacturing out of the US.

      – New law in China regulating data encryption goes in to effect on Dec 1. Which means among other things that US companies doing business in China no longer have any communication privacy

      – back in ~2009 (LTE approval process, if my memory is good), China, just before approval of cellular communication standards for encryption, told the international standards committees that if they didn’t add support for the ZUC cipher very late in the approval process, that China would not adopt the new “international” cell communication standard. If google hasn’t scrubbed it, there were heated discussions in the technical mailing lists (search around the 2008..2010 time frame). Pretty clear that access to data and information and control of it is strategic for them.

      – some companies wising up slightly – EMC with large government contracts for computer storage, stopping doing business with Huawei for corporate and national security concerns.

      – not too hard to find reports of spying and outright theft of national secrets in the mainstream media. harder to find reports of corporate IP theft, since it embarrasses corporate leaders.

      So yeah, life under the new colonial power may not be so pleasant for Western countries. Blame Trump all you want. He’s at least trying to undo some of the messes left by predecessors.

      More power to China to sucker and coerce the West’s “leaders” in to buying in to and buying “green” tech, while they load up on effective and proven ways to generate power.

      • I am not blaming trump especially, the west in general and the US in particular did not realise the threats you clearly outline. However china is now much more powerful and you can’t disengage without it causing more problems than it did in the past.

        Tonyb

        • Of course you do. The US built China, and pulling US money and business from China will cripple it.

          The very last thing the West wants to do is keep buying crap from China, exporting its industry to China, and crippling its energy production with China-supported ‘Global Warming’ claptrap.

          But, of course, most Western politicians are owned by China, so that’s going to keep happening until the situation becomes critical enough that we toss them all out.

    • “Pax Sino” – now here is a concept new to me. And a stupendously intelligent one at that. Bravo, tonyb.

  15. I am old enough to remember when Time was an actual news magazine, that people read and took seriously.

    God I’m old!

    • Yes, that’s old.

      It’s also a testament to Time getting stories wrong without consequences. You need a low information society for that across several generations. It’s a major resource to be tapped and used.

  16. This is actually warfare. All wargames prioritize quick destruction of the enemy energy and electricity generating structures.

    Which is what happens with instability of supply and skyrocketing prices instead of cruise missiles. Advantage, financial crisis targets are broader than any warhead could dream of. Free bonus, the enemy pays for the operation.

  17. Yeah, well, you believe them if you want to, but they have not earned any trust. They say whatever helps them to their end, and “care” for the world in not even on the list. They are spreading their influence far and wide for resources to support their burgeoning population. Add actual REAL imperialism, and you have nothing but future problems from this dictator run regime. Don’t fool yourself, please.

  18. China is making sure that its future competition is saddled with debt and an inefficient energy grid. After all, they aren’t installing windmills and solar farms for themselves. Why do you suppose that is.

  19. The Chinese aren’t so green that they would miss the opportunity for renewable, fungible, socially inoculated Green profits.

  20. The Correa regime got its first taste of Chinese quality manufacture when it purchased an expensive air traffic control system. It didn’t work and could not be repaired or otherwise made to work. China would not refund the money, but instead, offered more debt to purchase a replacement system. Correa did just that, and so a pattern was established.

    Ecuador is now filled with gloriously large edifices, highways, bridges, dams, etc., purchased with Chinese loans and built by the Chinese. Most have serious problems, some are condemned. Besides typically socialist grandiose projects, the money also grew a grotesquely bloated, over-payed and under-qualified bureaucracy and supported unsustainable subsidies and social programs.

    Those loans were initially paid off with Ecuador’s silver and gold reserves, then their foreign currency reserves, then their Social Security accounts (all in US dollars), then in highly unfavorable long-term petroleum contracts, then in leveraged resource extraction contracts which forced out other foreign investors in favor of the Chinese.

    Even this was not enough to satiate Chinese greed and avarice regarding Ecuador’s resources. The Chinese pirate fishing fleet repeatedly raided Ecuador’s EEZ, including the restricted waters around the Galapagos islands, over a period of ten years. It devastated the fishery, which will take decades, or more, to recover.

    The Chinese payed off Correa and his toadies with substantial bribes. Corruption and bribes have been part of the culture in Latin America since Columbus sailed, but this most recent version of socialism (nuevo bolivarianismo and/or socialismo del siglo XXI) is noted for its excesses in this regard. Hugo Chavez’s daughter is the wealthiest woman in Latin America, worth billions. Correa and his minions were equally motivated to reward themselves for their revolutionary zeal. Along with taking substantial bribes, they demanded “tithes” (in addition to dues) from their party members, used the judicial system to sue detractors and opponents and reward themselves with substantial judgments in their favor, they used the State to seize assets of opponents and then moved in.

    This is why Correa and his party are not well liked in Ecuador, that and because the well is dry. Correa ran out of other people’s money and Ecuadorians will be paying for his excesses for several generations. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were not constantly reminded of what they bought when they drive by failing, overpriced infrastructure that was built with less care than the collapsing apartment towers and cracking and bulging mega-dams of China.

    The Belt and Road repeats this throughout the world. Bringing down governments who succumb to temptation, while enslaving and impoverishing future generations. China needs its massive navy, not only to threaten and intimidate its neighbors and perceived enemies, but to intimidate its debtors.

    Who will be the first to have their customs house seized? Ironically, it was not too long ago that China was encouraging nations to default on their sovereign debt.

  21. The same could be said about recent port deals for their naval power ambitions in the Pacific and Indian Ocean. These ports are not near major economic zones or cities.

  22. Just from the headline alone, I would say they’re willing to invest in these boondoggles because 1) other governments are still falling for investing spending wasting their tax dollars 2) and they expect to also get the order for fossil fuel fired backups for the useless “renewable” projects, at emergency prices!

  23. China is bankrolling Renewable Projects around the World because they can make a great deal of money out of the gullible Climate Change dupes and simpletons in a short time before they realise that they have been had.

  24. China bankrolls renewable projects around the world to impede or disable first world economies while it expands reliable power at home.

  25. The Chinese aren’t doing this to be seen as virtuous or worried about climate change. They are doing it to make money firstly, and secondly to secure a presence on the land. As in my experience in Ethiopia, you will not find any workers from the local citizenry, they will all be Chinese imports.

  26. Climate leaders…who murder and imprison tens of millions of people while commiting countless other atrocities. They forgot that part. But those Chinese commies sure are noble.

    • While they have selective-Chinese, Mengele clinics, and diversity (i.e. color judgments) including genocide, we have selective-child, clinical cannibalism, and diversity (i.e. color judgments). The Yin and Yang of progressive policy.

  27. Unless China can become the predominant military power in the world capable of projecting said power across the globe, it will turn out badly for them too. What happens if they come to collect on the debt and the third world collectively tells them to take a hike. With the U.S. that would mean regime change for said third world countries leadership. If the U.S. backs said third world leaders against Chinese regime change then China takes the financial hit.

  28. China does not give the scraps of cut off toenails from a homeless man about renewables or the environment. They have state-owned enterprises to give wok to. They have built huge production facilities for wind and solar and now the est does not buy as much as they though. Admitting that they messed up is not an option so they must throw good money after bad in some forlorn scheme around the world just in order to keep the wheels spinning. Until someone decides to stop paying them and asks the US to open a military base for free on his soil. It’s a time buying exercise that will only deepen the rot at the core of the dragon.

Comments are closed.