A critical look at Chinese ‘debt-trap diplomacy’: the rise of a meme

  title={A critical look at Chinese ‘debt-trap diplomacy’: the rise of a meme},
  author={Deborah Brautigam},
  journal={Area Development and Policy},
  pages={1 - 14}
  • D. Brautigam
  • Published 2 January 2020
  • Political Science
  • Area Development and Policy
ABSTRACT In 2017, a meme was born in a think tank in northern India: Chinese ‘debt-trap diplomacy’. This meme quickly spread through the media, intelligence circles and Western governments. Within 12 months it generated nearly 2 million search results on Google in 0.52 seconds and was beginning to solidify into a deep historical truth. Stories can contain truths and falsehoods. Human emotions, including negativity bias, prime us to think in certain ways. This paper retells a series of stories… 
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