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China would respect will of Maldives people over debt, says Gayoom

The Maldives’ debt to China needs to be carefully reviewed and managed, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said according to remarks published Sunday by Indian media, adding he was “sure” China would respect the will of the people. China has financed infrastructure projects with loans in excess of a billion dollars, sparking accusations of a debt trap and a land-grab. Although the president-elect, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, has pledged to review contracts he says ongoing projects will not be scrapped. Gayoom, who is one of four leaders in the opposition alliance, said the Maldives valued China’s support. “We value the support China has given for our development. However, we are concerned at the level of debt we have incurred in recent years, and feel this needs to be carefully reviewed and managed.....................

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