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Opinion

Why do so many Asian nations want to be in China's debt?

Beijing's debt-trap diplomacy likely to cost it dearly over the long term

| China
Power lines near Nam Theun 2 dam in Khammouane province: Beijing has effectively taken control of Laos's electric grid.   © Reuters

Brahma Chellaney is a geostrategist and author of nine books, including "Asian Juggernaut: The Rise of China, India and Japan."

China's debt-trap diplomacy, redolent of colonial-era practices, has claimed its latest victim -- the small, resource-rich nation of Laos. Struggling to pay back Chinese loans, Laos has handed China majority control of its national electric grid at a time when its state-owned electricity company's debt has spiraled to 26% of its gross domestic product.

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