China approves Maldives' loan deferment request

China has agreed to defer repayment period of the loans obtained by the Maldives from China.

The government of China has granted loan deferment eases to 77 countries, including Maldives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Zhang Lizhong discussed the matter with Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and informed that the Maldives is among the 77 countries for which China has decided to suspend debts under its Debt Suspension Initiative.

The Maldives has been severely affected by the economic downturn caused as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism-dependent archipelago is facing numerous challenges in loan repayment. The Maldives has requested for leniency in repayment.

During Monday's meeting with Ambassador Zhang, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid thanked China for granting loan deferment options. The Chinese Ambassador said he discussed enhancing the bilateral relationship between China and the Maldives, and development projects of mutual interest and benefits during the meeting.