Vila Times

Chinese “aid” to the Pacific is not aid: diplomat

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Pacific nations are being warned if they accept too much Chinese loan money they may end up like the Maldives.

The Indian Ocean island nation’ is heavily indebted to China and its politics is in turmoil at the moment. A group of Chinese warships was recently dispatched to the area, an act analysts suggest was a warning to India to stay away, Pacific Beat reports.

Robin Nair, who has served as a diplomat for both Fiji and Australia, says countries in the Pacific should learn from what’s happening in the Maldives right now.

“As you know in the Maldives China has been involved in the development of infrastructure, and the Maldives are in debt, heavy debt to China. Almost $2 billion. Which is unrepayable by a small country like that,” Robin Nair said.

“Also the Maldives is going through some instability at the moment. Serious instability. And China has shown its force by sending ships into the region, naval ships.

The general concern is that the Pacific is opening itself to the same dangers, getting into great debt. Chinese aid is not aid, they give loans, concessional loans.”