The crises in Sri Lanka and Pakistan are raising questions about the relevance and the costs of their reliance on the alternative financial system provided by China’s Belt and Road Initiative On March 6, China became the last major bilateral creditor to provide financing and restructuring assurances to Sri Lanka. Following this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to make a final decision on Colombo’s $2.9 billion bailout package. Sri Lanka’s consistent back-and-forth negotiations with the IMF and China indicate a broader development in South Asia. In 2022, two other South Asian nations and participants of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — Pakistan and Bangladesh — had sought financial assistance from the IMF. These developments in the subcontinent indicate that developing countries are furthering their economic interests and stability by approaching the IMF and the West, even as they try not to antagonise China.