Sri Lanka as the storm bird of coming global mass uprisings and the alleged Chinese debt trap?
Sri Lanka, deep economic recession, mass poverty, inflation, mass protests and the dissatisfied masses have occupied the prime minister’s office and stormed the presidential palace, while the president was exiled to Male and not Malle to the Maldives with the military plane and family, but has not yet officially submitted his resignation and appears to be aiming for some kind of government-in-exile and return while the angry Global South is having a swim in the presidental swimming pool while angry crowds cool off the heat of battle in its swimming pool, seen as a symbol of corruption and decadence. Whereby in Germany every second new house owner has a swimming pool and this is seen as the result of industrious, performance-oriented successful middle classes who have honestly made it to prosperity. But swimming pools also arouse social envy in Germany.Perhaps Sri Lanka is just the gentle prelude to a broader insurgency movement in Africa, the Greater Middle East, and maybe also Europe and the West, insofar as gas boycotts and food boycotts become genuinely real. But in Germany you couldn’t storm the swimming pool of a luxury villa owned by Merkel, Steinimeier, or Scholz, because they aren’t corrupt, even though Germany has fallen further in the lobbying indicator scale of an NGO and the last baroque man who had a swimming pool was Rudolf Scharping with his aristocratic life partner which provoked a scandal in Germany that he had to resign. But whatever. One wonders where the disastrous situation in Sri Lanka comes from. There are three explanations. Corruption, Covid and the collapse of state-supported tourism and China’s so-called debt trap at the port in Sri Lanka. Well. The People’s Republic of China and other states are also highly corrupt states, as the USA, and yet generate considerable growth rates, even if the trickle down effect and the Gini coefficient are disputed. Covid and the slump in the tourism industry is more central. China’s debt trap, meaning that the people of Sri Lanka are now bancrupt because the Chinese are demanding their debts, is much more questionable. It is also interesting that the Chinese debt trap is not a big topic in the Western media, just as Russia, China or similar media state organs do not fabulate about a CIA-sponsored colored revolution ala Ukraine or anything else in connection with the mass protests in Sri Lanka, yes China expert Frank Sieren even writes the opposite article:
„China or the West – Who is Really Responsible for Sri Lanka’s Debt Trap?“
Well, his answer is pretty clear. The port and the so-called debt trap were initially a Western project that did not arouse any interest, which is why China jumped into the trap and was not dominant. I once read a book by Frank Sieren in the 2000s in which he sharply criticized China’s „concubine economy“ and the exploitation of German companies by the Communist Party, demanding improvements and questioning the China hype.
China expert Prof van Ess said:
„I remembered him as a sharp critic of China, hence the surprise of this post. Yes, I once moderated an event in the Literaturhaus where Sieren presented his latest book. He has lived in Beijing for many years and appears to have changed his mind from the early 2000s. Actually, he has become quite China-friendly. I don’t know if he still lives in China, though.“
In our opinion, Sieren sees this more from his economic policy perspective. Human rights, etc. was never his topic, but rather the Chinese “concubine economy”, which was exploitative for German companies. He rightly criticized the brazen exploitation of German companies by China, but he may have turned his back on Trump because he realized how disastrous such a thing can be and how a serious decoupling could affect the German, European and world economy. Maybe he just wants to take some steam off the Chinabashing and appears pro-China due to obvious US propaganda lies like the China virus and Sri Lankan debt trap. Maybe he’s just a realist and hoping for de-escalation. Be that as it may with the root cause analysis, India, the US and China still want military bases in Sri Lanka, just as they are already fighting over the Solomon Islands. With or without a debt trap, the geopolitical battle continues.