Mal­dives Ex­plor­ing Op­tions to Halt China’s BRI Project

The Day After - - GLOBAL TIT-BIT -

Mal­dives Pres­i­dent Ibu Solih is ex­plor­ing op­tions of putting on hold Chi­nese funded Belt & Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI) projects that have caused In­dia ma­jor con­cerns about Bei­jing’s in­creas­ing in­flu­ence in the In­dian Ocean neigh­bour­hood. DANFES has learnt that Solih might fol­low the ex­am­ple of Malaysian PM Ma­hathir Mo­ham­mad, who has put on hold mega BRI projects in his coun­try af­ter re­turn­ing to power ear­lier this year. There is talk that the new Mal­di­vian Pres­i­dent might even can­cel some BRI projects that were en­cour­aged by his pre­de­ces­sor and out­go­ing leader Ab­dul­lah Yameen. Yameen al­legedly re­ceived $1.5 mil­lion as poll fi­nanc­ing, with his crit­ics ac­cus­ing him of ob­tain­ing the funds from Bei­jing.

Solih’s chal­lenge will, how­ever, be the re­pay­ment of Chi­nese loans ex­tended for the projects in the is­land-na­tion. The Mal­dives is fac­ing li­a­bil­i­ties of $1.4 bil­lion, ac­count­ing for about a third of the coun­try’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct, due to Yameen’s poli­cies.

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