Presidents of China, Maldives meet for first time after nearly two years
The leaders of the two countries held talks for the first time in nearly two years, amid strained relations over the massive debts of China and the Maldives. Maldives President Ibrahim Solih tweeted that he had spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping this afternoon. He said that during this period, discussions took place to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.
This conversation between the two leaders is considered important because about two years ago there was a public announcement of talks between the two leaders. While Solih congratulated Xi Jinping on the Chinese New Year, Xi also congratulated his Maldivian counterpart on becoming president. Relations between the Maldives and China have gone through a very bad phase during these two years.
53% of total income spent on debt repayment
The main point of contention between the two countries is China’s huge debt. The Maldives, gravely trapped in the debt trap in the name of Xi Jinping’s dream project, Belt End, is sweating to pay off the debt. The condition was that India financially assist the Maldives during the Corona period. The Maldivian government must devote 53% of its total revenue to debt repayment. Of this amount, 80% of the money must be returned to China.
Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed, trapped in a Chinese debt network, was in arrears on Twitter last year. Nasheed had said that we cannot pay off this Dragon debt even by selling our grandmother’s jewelry. Nasheed, currently Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives, tweeted: “Today we are discussing the budget for the year 2021 in Parliament (Majlis). The debt repayment of the Maldives will represent 53 percent of the total government income in the year. next. On this debt payment, 80% of the money will go to China. It is absolutely not affordable. Even if we sell our grandmother’s jewelry, we cannot pay this debt. “
China’s massive $ 3.1 billion debt
As much to tell you that in the name of the “Belt and Road” project, China, which has become entangled in the trap of the debt of the whole world, now seems to have fully achieved its objective. After Sri Lanka, which has become another neighboring country of India and a friend in its own right, the Maldives are buried under China’s mountain of debt. According to the government of Maldives, China has a massive $ 3.1 billion debt with the country. This also when the whole economy of Maldives is around $ 5 billion. The Maldives are now afraid of default in the Corona crisis.