But nations should look at “a place like Sri Lanka today — heavily indebted to China — which has made some really dumb bets about their economic future and are suffering pretty catastrophic, both economic and political, consequences as a result.
“That, I think, ought to be an object lesson to a lot of other players — not just in the Middle East or South Asia, but around the world — about having your eyes wide open about those kinds of dealings.”
Sri Lanka has borrowed heavily from China for infrastructure projects, some of which ended up as white elephants.
In 2017, Sri Lanka was unable to repay a $1.4 billion loan for a port construction in the south of the country and was forced to lease out the facility to a Chinese company for 99 years.
Near the port is the Rajapaksa Airport, built with a $200 million loan for China, that was so sparingly used that at one point it was unable to cover its electricity bill.