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Belt and Road

China debt trap fear haunts Maldives government

Beijing reminds Male of sovereign guarantee on a private resort deal

The Maldives has borrowed heavily from China for infrastructure projects, including a bridge connecting the capital Male to the country's international airport on another island.  (Photo by Yuji Kuronuma)

COLOMBO -- When Ahmed Siyam, a Maldivian business magnate, rushed to service a $127.5 million loan he had received from the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China, he eased fears in the Indian Ocean archipelago about the Maldives falling into a Chinese debt-trap. But the August repayment reminded many of the risk of carrying billions of dollars in Chinese credit shrouded in secrecy.

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