Maldives wants to restructure debt to China

December 5, 2019 GMT

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — The Maldives foreign minister says his country needs to restructure its massive debt to China, which he says has put the Indian ocean archipelago in a difficult situation.

Abdulla Shahid said the country’s Chinese debt currently totals about $1.4 billion.

He told reporters in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday that he is currently consulting with the Chinese government on this.

The Chinese loans have been given for housing projects, a bridge connecting the airport island with the capital island, Male, and for some state-owned enterprises.

Shahid said the loans were “unreasonable borrowings” by the previous government.

Since the government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came into power last year, Maldives has begun a shift away from China toward traditional ally India.