Maldivian politicians must treasure achievements so as to keep Maldives-China ties on a healthy track, says Chinese Ambassador to Maldives, Zhang Lizhong.
The Ambassador fired back at Speaker and Former President Mohamed Nasheed for remarks he made during an interview to India’s Lok Sabha, on Friday.
Nasheed claimed that Maldives has been caught in a debt trap by China in an interview with the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, Ambassador Lizhong took to Twitter on Friday night, brushing the reports off as baseless.
Refuting claims that China “grabs” Maldivian land, the ambassador said that the country’s investment in Maldives is “no different” from any other country and that only a handful of private companies from China have invested in tourism islands which are not even operational.
Further, the ambassador went on to call on the government to honor the agreements as it is a good thing to uphold the “credibility of a sovereign country”.
While Nasheed claimed that Maldivians do not want “concrete” development and declared that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will not be implemented, Ambassador Lizhong expressed his hope that the government will make a wise choice as the agreement has already been signed by the two governments, after years of negotiations and consultations on “equal footing”.
Calling claims of debt trap a “fiction”, the Chinese ambassador asserted that China is a contributor and not a “trap maker”.
“China is a development partner and biggest source market for inbound tourists to Maldives”
~ Ambassador Lizhong
Ending his thread of tweets, Lizhong expressed hope that politicians in the country have a “responsible attitude” towards the bilateral ties between Maldives and China and learn to appreciate the long-term ties so that it remains on the correct track.