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How will China’s emergence as a development financier change global development and what does it mean for the established international financial institutions? The Center for Global Development’s research explores this question and more.
A new study and dataset released today reveals previously unknown details about China—the world’s largest official creditor—and its lending practices to developing countries.
How China Lends finds that Chinese state-owned banks are muscular, commercially savvy lenders that use contracts to position themselves as “preferred creditors,” seeking repayment ahead of other commercial and official lenders. They often do so by asking borrowers for an informal source of collateral—bank accounts with minimum cash balance requirements that lenders can seize in the event of default—and prohibiting borrowers from restructuring their Chinese debts in coordination with other creditors.
As the World Bank makes a case to its shareholders for a capital increase this year, they are grappling with an uncomfortable truth: one of their biggest borrowers, China, happens to hold the world’s largest foreign exchange reserves, is one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment, enjoys some of the best borrowing terms of any sovereign borrower, and is itself the world’s largest sovereign lender.