China has spent a trillion dollars expanding its influence across Asia, Africa and Latin America through its Belt and Road infrastructure program. Now Beijing is working on an overhaul of the troubled initiative, according to people involved in policymaking.
The slowing global economy, combined with rising interest rates and rising inflation, has left countries struggling to repay their debts to China. Tens of billions of dollars in loans have gone sour and many development projects have stalled. Western leaders have criticized China’s lending practices, which some have called “debt trap diplomacy”, embarrassing Beijing. Many economists and investors have said the country’s lending practices have contributed to debt crises in places like Sri Lanka and Zambia.