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On a recent official visit to China, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad criticized his host country's use of major infrastructure projects and difficult-to-repay loans to assert its influence over smaller countries.Most notably, last December, Sri Lanka was compelled to transfer the Chinese-built strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year, colonial-style lease, because it could longer afford its debt payments.The backlash against China can be seen elsewhere, too.When it comes to trade, U.S. President Donald Trump's escalating trade war with China is grabbing headlines, but Trump is far from alone in criticizing China. As the largest merchandise exporter in the world, China is many countries' biggest trading partner. The fact is that China has grown strong and rich by flouting international trade rules. China's export subsidies and other trade-distorting practices are set to encounter greater international resistance.International trade has afforded China enormous benefits, enabling the country to become the world's second-largest economy, while lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.
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