Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Zhang Lizhong says reports that claim that the Chinese government has claimed land and islands as compensation in an event that the Maldives is unable to pay back the loans issued by China are baseless.
In a video statement made via Twitter, Ambassador Zhang said that in a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid had clearly pointed out that the cooperation between the two countries is mutually beneficial to both countries.
Zhang said that the cooperation between the Maldives and China is a result of friendly consultation between the two sides and that it is not a case of one side deciding all the issues or the case of one side taking advantage of the other side.
He went on to say that China had never pressed any country for debt payment. He said even in extreme cases in the future, the issue would be properly resolved through friendly consultations of the two sides in accordance with the agreements and international best practices.
Ambassador Zhang said the so-called debt trap is fiction cooked up by some individuals and is being used as a political gimmick to disrupt the relationship between China and other developing countries as well as to disrupt the belt road initiative.
He said that developing countries have benefited a lot under the mutually beneficial cooperation of the belt road initiative and that the cooperation between the Maldives and China is a typical example of mutual benefits.
Zhang concluded his statement by stating that he firmly believed that the Maldivian public can clearly see the essence of the issue.