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China hopes Maldives will make ‘right choice’ on free trade deal

China believes the Maldives will make the “right choice” to implement a free trade agreement after former president Mohamed Nasheed declared the new government would scrap the “one-way treaty.”Nasheed, a senior advisor to the new president, told Reuters parliament would not pass legislation needed to implement zero tariffs, citing “huge trade imbalances.”Asked about the remarks, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the press Tuesday the deal was “based on equal-footed and friendly consultations” and intended to “seek mutual benefit and win-win results.”“The sooner it gets implemented, the sooner the two sides could reap the benefits. We believe the Maldivian government will make the right choice,” he added.The free trade agreement was rushed through parliament in November last year, hours after former president Abdulla Yameen sought approval for ratification,. Opposition lawmakers boycotted the vote over the fast-tracked process and the lack of public disclosure and consultation with the business community................................

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