Former president Mohamed Nasheed was criticised Wednesday for saying that China’s projects in the Maldives were commercially unfeasible and that they would be audited.
The attack, from Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman, came days after President Abdulla Yameen conceded defeat to his opposition rival and Nasheed ally Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
“It is the people of our two countries that have the final say on whether the China-Maldives cooperation is feasible and can deliver benefits to our two countries,” said Geng Shuang.
“It can by no means (be) smeared by certain people,” he told a regular press briefing without naming Nasheed. “It baffles me why certain people always make such irresponsible remarks and I deeply regret that.
“I would like to reiterate that the China-Maldives cooperation is based on equality, voluntarism and mutual benefit and strictly follows the market rules and observes laws and regulations.”
The spokesman then appeared to threaten anyone or anything that might jeopardise China’s interests and investments.
“If certain forces wantonly harm China’s interests out of political purposes, the Chinese side will firmly oppose it and resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”
According to Mumbai-based foreign policy think-tank, Gateway House, the three largest Chinese projects in the country are worth more than US$1.5 billion – or 40 percent of the country’s GDP.
“This will inevitably cause repayment problems, as visible in Sri Lanka, another country deep in debt to China,” Gateway House said in a report published February.
Days after the election, which saw Yameen lose by more than 38,000 votes, China welcomed Solih as the victor and said it respected the outcome of the poll.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent