Kyrgyzstan owes about 30 percent of its GDP to China, only Djibouti, Maldives, Congo and Tonga have a larger share. Russian media report, citing data of a study by the Institute of World Economy.
It is reported that the country owes China $ 1.7 billion, although the debt did not exceed $ 10 million back in 2008.
Beijing lends to Bishkek in exchange for participation in large projects, mainly in the energy sector, including: modernization of Bishkek Heating and Power Plant (carried out by the Chinese company TBEA for $ 386 million, allocated by the Export-Import Bank of China), construction of substations Datka and Kemin and power lines between them for $ 400 million, an oil refinery in Kara-Balta with a capacity of 800,000 tons of oil per year (estimated at $ 250 million). A number of Chinese companies are also involved in the development of gold deposits, which is opposed by local residents.
So, a school with in-depth study of the Chinese language began to work in Bishkek in 2017, the Kyrgyz-Chinese New Silk Road University is working, and a branch of the Chinese North-West University was opened in Kara-Balta. According to official data, 35,000 citizens of the PRC arrived in the Kyrgyz Republic in 2018, according to unofficial figures — several times more. At the beginning of 2019, a number of anti-Chinese rallies took place in Bishkek, several dozen people were detained.
For comparison, Tajikistan is the second largest debtor in Central Asia. It owes China about $ 1.2 billion — almost a half of its external debt.
The priorities of China in the country are energy and mining sectors. In 2018, Chinese TBEA received a license from Tajikistan for development of the Upper Kumarg gold mine.