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From a $360 million project to expand Zambia’s international airport in Lusaka to a $1.4 billion city port in Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo, China is the missing piece in the puzzle of a number of debt talks underway in developing markets.

The second-largest economy and the biggest bilateral creditor in the world is a dominant lender to many smaller, riskier developing nations. But Beijing has kept a low profile, not only on lending conditions but also on how it renegotiates with borrowers in distress.

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