A surge in overseas lending has left Chinese policy banks highly exposed to countries at risk of default, forcing a rethink that could reshape its engagement with developing economies. A Financial Times analysis shows that six of the 10 biggest recipients of Chinese development finance between 2013 and 2015 are considered to be most at risk of default using an OECD measure. By contrast only two of the top 10 recipients of World Bank development loans between 2011 and 2015 were in the same risk category. Last year Xi Jinping pledged $35bn in preferential loans to Africa in a gesture meant to reassure its partners on the continent that China’s interest extended beyond resource extraction. But with oil prices around $50 a barrel undermining borrowers’ ability to repay oil-backed loans.
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