Nasheed’s loan claims debunked by Chinese Ambassador

Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Zhang Lizhong (L) with Speaker of the Parliament of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed (R) | Photo: Maldives Independent

Male’, Maldives – Zhang Lizhong, Chinese Ambassador to Maldives has refuted The former President of Maldives and the current Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed’s earlier claims stating that the Maldives needs to pay $15 Million to China within the next 14 days.

Nasheed stated earlier today that China did not give any leniency to any of the large debts Maldives owes to them and that the $15 Million that Maldives is required to pay to the Chinese banks within the next 14 days is almost 50% of total state revenue.

However, disproving these claims, Ambassador Zhang stated on twitter that according to feedback from Chinese banks that the Maldives is indebted to, there is no such payment due in the next 2 weeks. His tweet ended with a word of advice to Nasheed asking him to “check the account book” and to save the $15 million for the 2021 state budget.

The two officials have exchanged blows on twitter previously, and on the same topic when Nasheed said that Maldives will not be able to repay the “unaffordable” debt owed to China even if the jewelry of our grandmothers are sold. To which, Ambassador Zhang replied that while jewelry inherited from a grandmother is very precious, China prefers friendship, which Zhang has said is priceless.

Nasheed, disregarding an earlier announcement form the President’s Office stating that the government of China allowed the repayment of some loans to be deferred to the upcoming year, claims that, from what he knows, China has still not restructured any of the loans that were taken by Maldives. He adds that it is very low of China to not give leniency in the loans during such tough times Maldives is facing due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.