T2B22: Xiden 7
|Rajesh Kasturirangan||Dec 1, 2020|
I am a professional consumer of information which means that I am willing to pay for knowledge and I am also embedded in many networks where I can solicit knowledge from individuals I trust. Together, they signal elite status in a knowledge society, for truth is now a luxury good.
A luxury good is '“a good for which demand increases more than proportionally as income rises, so that expenditures on the good become a greater proportion of overall spending.”
What else is paying for an Ivy League education?
How much have the Chinese invested in BRI?
The Belt and Road Initiative is expected to cost more than $1tn (£760bn), although there are differing estimates as to how much money has been spent to date. According to one analysis, China has invested more than $210bn, the majority in Asia.
I am having a hard time figuring exactly how much has been spent, since some countries such as Malaysia have canceled the contracts - regime change leads to contract change; the converse may also be true: in order to achieve contract change, interested third parties might also nudge regime change.
“We do not want a situation where there is a new version of colonialism happening because poor countries are unable to compete with rich countries,” Mr. Mahathir said on Monday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing after meeting with Premier Li Keqiang.
Nevertheless, the total sums of money involved are large:
The Belt and Road Initiative is expected to cost more than $1tn, although there are differing estimates as to how much money has been spent to date. According to one analysis, China has invested more than $210bn, the majority in Asia.
They would have been considered amazingly large not too long ago, but let’s recall that the US passed a COVID stimulus package worth multiples of trillions.
We might be entering a world in which very large sums of money are spent to achieve internal and external state objectives. Having said that, the money China has already spent is often the single largest source of external debt of some of the poorest countries in the world.
I don’t know how it’s going to play out. Nevertheless, here’s an indication from Pakistan. One the one hand:
Since the beginning of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013, Pakistan has been the program’s flagship site, with some $62 billion in projects planned in the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. In the process, China has lent more and more money to Pakistan at a time of economic desperation there, binding the two countries ever closer.
but then Pakistan applied for a bailout from the IMF, in part to service the debt it accrued from China!
As they say: caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.