‘Debt trap’: Could Kenya lose port assets to China over default on rail project?

‘Debt trap’: Could Kenya lose port assets to China over default on rail project?
Cargo handling in Port of Mombasa, Kenya. YouTube, KBC video

[Ed. – This would be a significant test case. Kenya is a sovereign nation and could basically avoid some parts of this outcome by having the crust to face it down. But that would be…as disjunctive and jarring as any other end-state.  We don’t know how the Kenyan government will try to handle it.  Some negotiated settlement short of out-and-out cession of assets seems most likely.  It’s not out of the question for one of Russia, India, or Saudi Arabia to bail Nairobi out.  It’s 1910 again, with a new set of players.]

China may be preparing to seize some major assets in the African nation of Kenya, as a result of debt-trap diplomacy.

African media reports that Kenya may soon be forced to relinquish control of its largest and most lucrative port in Mombasa to Chinese control.

Other assets related to the inland shipment of goods from the port, including the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi, and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), may also be compromised in the event of a Chinese port takeover. …

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In November, Moody’s noted that Kenya is at high risk of losing strategic assets because of debts owed to Beijing.

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