I think it is more than being afraid. I think everyone is very wary of them and doesn't trust them. They actually have every right to be wary as what China is doing currently in developing countries is nothing short of theft.
The Belt and Road initiative is the scheme that helps developing nations. The initiative is to help the third world countries build up infrastructure so they can improve their industries. China is offering no favors though and is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
China offers these deals knowing full well the country receiving the "aid" will fail on it's payments. It is a huge debt trap so China can cherry pick what they want from the country at below cost prices on resources.
The roads and rail links they build,the dams that supply electricity are all built to serve their needs when the time comes There is proof and evidence littered through the countries the Chinese supposedly helped.
Zambia has lost the country's national power utility as the Chinese seized it. They also seized the National TV and radio stations. Sri Lanka they took a port on a 99 year lease. Angola they took Petroleum at below cost. They helped fund the oil and gas wells and now are taking what they want.
Venezuela is the latest country on the shopping list offering all sorts of raw materials. If we look at the list it doesn't take a genius to see what they are up to. They are all about themselves and supplying contracts and work to their people.
Out of the 68 countries the World Bank has huge fears for 22 ,but 8 are in serious trouble These include Pakistan, Djibouti, the Maldives, Laos, Mongolia, Montenegro, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
China is spreading it's influence everywhere and thank fully countries are now waking up to this facts. Sierra Leone is the first country in Africa to reject the latest proposal of building an International Airport. Malaysia has just turned the Chinese away from 2 protects.
The truth is the loans are over 2000% from what one can find elsewhere. You are also not restricted from only using Chinese labor and companies from doing all the work.
Because the Chinese are smart, good organized, has a long historic background what they used to boost their own moral in the society. If you see what the Chinese get every night on tv, is a complete other story then the west get on TV.
We get nonsense and fantasy movies which are full with subliminal messages to brainwash us to buy this or that, or to think like or that. Like our superheroes are the Avengers, Transformers and watch programs like the Kardashians.
While the Chinese watch every night Wuxia ( wuxia movies are drama movies with historic content, full of wisdom and spiritual teachings) movies, with historic ancient stories full with wisdom and courage and drama from the old Emperor days. Movies like the Legend of the Condor heroes for example and then the masses get grown up with stories like that.
Then there are the huge groups of Chinese elites, who are completely different from the Elites from the West. Those Elites from the Chinese think different from the Elites from the west. They can open a company somewhere and bring over god know who to work there, and keep everything among the Chinese. It's almost impossible to come between them.
They have their own restaurants, hidden casino's behind a laundry or regular business, their own brother who only accept Chinese, even their own schools. It almost looks like they bring China to every country they are, and most of the time is everything organized from Hong Kong or CHina. Even the gangs work in a pyramids style way, with the bosses in China or Hong Kong.
Then the army is ridiculous big, high advanced and the soldiers are ready to die!! But the difference between the Chinese and the elites from the west, that there focus is more to work together with other cultures, like they are doing in Africa or in south America, instead of colonize them like the leaders of the west. That saying the world should fear the Elites of the west and not the Chinese.
And business from the west wants to work in China, and try everything to work there, because of the many economic profits a company from the west can make. What on the end would only be good for the economy of China, and there are countless companies or business to work with.
And yes there is still much corruption and many crazy things in China, but those are the results of 70 years of wars and centuries of colonization by the west. If you see which wars China had in the last 80 years, then of course traumatized people will come out of that.
So it looks like China is returning to what they were in the past, a strong organized nation who might be the strongest nation in the future. And that scare people, because they think that China will do what they done with the world.
Like raging wars, taking over oil or grounds like what is going on in the middle east. While I only see China is doing business with other nations. And i don't see any problem in that!
I suspect that much comes from the internal discourse that exists in the US, and that it is 'contagious' to the rest of the world.
After World War II, the US they were only interested in their rivalry with the Soviets, and when the USSR disappeared, there was no rival: the 'End of History' was announced  and the whole planet was ready to adopt the American Way of Life of liberal democracy and 'free market.
And now, exhausted by the endless wars in the Middle East, comes another challenger, with a hitherto very successful model of a single party and state capitalism.
It accuses China of human rights violations, but it does not recognize that the USA itself has prisoners in Guantanamo, not to mention the military presence in the Middle East.
It accuses China of taking territories such as Tibet or Xinjiang, but says nothing of Hawaii, Puerto Rico or Virgin Islands. By the way, people from these three territories do not have the right to vote.
It accuses China of increasing military spending, when it is many times lower than that of the United States. Incidentally, China has never invaded other countries.
USA accuses China of its trips to the South China Sea, but the US has military bases all over the world.
The United States has taken several political dissidents and has promoted them with great fanfare to give China a bad reputation. Many of them are very controversial. To give an example, the Dalai Lama benefited from a slave system that existed in Tibet until he was liberated (yes, liberated) by China.
When people died of hunger, the party was blamed for its failure.
When China tries to prevent another famine by limiting the number of children that can be had, it is accused of genocide.
When China brings a population equivalent to Mexico's poverty, it is accused of contaminating.
When China becomes the largest investor in green energy, people point to Beijing.
When it is trying to create its own industries, it is accused of theft of intellectual propety.
When China tries to establish an alternative trade route (OBOR) and invest in developing countries, it is accused of imperialism.
When it is aspiring to develop state-of-the-art technologies and improve the protection of intellectual property, Trump accuses them of an unfair trade.
Total, that in the eyes of the United States, whatever China does, is wrong.
China is a big and powerful country whose industrial base is expanding rapidly. What that means is that they will need to acquire raw materials and agricultural land from overseas to an increasing degree. China is also rapidly building up its military to be able to protect its interests abroad. As growing industrial economy, China has no choice but to become a geopolitical rival of the USA and the rest of the West. That makes people uneasy because conflicts of interest with the West are inevitable.
The Chinese are also increasingly driven to exploit weaker countries with plentiful raw materials. Their MO in Africa is to bribe corrupt national governments to accept unfavourable terms for loans and allow them to build infrastructure to exploit the local raw materials on terms that are bad for the country as a whole, particularly in the long term. Typically, they will be granted the right to use a port for a very long time, they will build a railway and a mine, use Chinese labor for everything and depart when the minerals have been mined, leaving an environmental disaster in their wake. The country subjected to this will not be adequately compensated but the leaders who sign the agreements will receive massive bribes in their offshore bank accounts.
They have incredibly powerful economics. They also have nuclear weapons. What's not to fear?