US eyes Sri Lanka crisis with twisted excitement - Global Times
The Global Times urges the US and its Western allies to control their geopolitical impulses and avoid exploiting countries dealing with an economic or political collapse.
An article written in the Global Times urges the United States and its Western allies to control their geopolitical impulses, and let countries running into collapse work sans intervention and exploitation.
An example particularly given in the article was Sri Lanka, which has become the first country to announce default on its foreign debt in the 21st century, has its government declaring bankruptcy, in addition to a political crisis that has seen its president announce resignation, and an economic crisis which has crippled millions of lives in the country.
Sri Lanka grapples with record inflation rates, medicine, fuel and food shortages which came as a result of multiple factors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic which hit the country's lifeline, the tourism industry, and energy inflation which came as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Sri Lanka's debt problem did not, according to analysts cited in the article, come from China as major Western news outlets are accusing. In fact, bilateral foreign debt to China only accounts for 10% of the country's outstanding foreign debt. Most of the debt is owed to commercial creditors and multilateral financial institutions from the West - those are largely responsible for the crippling debt, unpayable at this time. In turn, Sri Lanka sold the debt to vulture funds, which "exploited Sri Lanka's every penny."
Will Sri Lanka become a battlefield for exploitation? The article writes, "Sri Lanka is already scarred and cannot bear the pressure and cost of becoming a geopolitical arena." But, the US looks "at Sri Lanka which is in crisis not with anxiety, but with twisted excitement."
Genuine assistance to Colombo does not seem to be on the horizon. On the other hand, China, as of the end of May 2022, has signed over 200 "Belt and Road" cooperation agreements with 150 countries, and 32 international organizations.
Washington, conscious of China's aspirations, launched the "Blue Dot Network" under Trump's reign, which claimed to promote building high-quality regional infrastructure, in addition to the Biden administration's proposal to "Build Back Better World" in June 2021.
However, the difference is that China, according to the article, moves toward an international project that is more focused on development and cooperation than it is focused on leadership and influence of the US and the West.
See more: The Sri Lankan economic crisis