Poor countries cut services in scramble to repay China debts

A protester outside president Gotabaya Rajapaksa's office in Colombo after the Sri Lankan president fled the country last year. Photo: AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena© AP

Bernard Condon

A dozen poor countries are facing economic instability and even collapse because of a common, undeniable factor: their struggle to pay back hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign loans, much of them from the world’s biggest and most unforgiving government lender, China.