Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.


Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence


Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
Needmore seats to Win
Needmore seats to Win
2-min read

As New Maldives President Warns of 'Loot' After China-Led Boom, Modi Tilts Balance in India's Favour

Modi and Solih agreed the two countries would be mindful of each other’s concerns and the need for stability in the Indian Ocean.


Updated:November 18, 2018, 9:24 AM IST
As New Maldives President Warns of 'Loot' After China-Led Boom, Modi Tilts Balance in India's Favour
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Male: The new president of the Maldives took office on Saturday, declaring the state coffers to have been looted and warned that the country was in financial difficulty after racking up debt with Chinese lenders in an infrastructure boom.

The Maldives, famous for its luxury resorts on palm-fringed islands, is the latest in a number of small countries where China has invested millions of dollars building highways and housing as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

But these projects have left the country of just over 400,000 people in debt and prompted calls for investigations into how contracts were awarded to Chinese companies during the previous administration.

"As I take over the presidency, the state's financial situation is precarious. The damage done due to projects conducted only for political reasons, and at a loss, are huge," said Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a speech soon after he was sworn in as president.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the highest-ranking foreign visitor at the ceremony held in a soccer stadium in the capital Male.

Solih, a veteran lawmaker, won the presidential election in September as a joint opposition candidate against president Abdullah Yameen, a strongman who steered the country closer to China and faced international pressure over imprisoning political rivals.

"The state coffers have lost several billions of rufiyaa (local currency) due to embezzlement and corruption conducted at different levels of the government," Solih said.

He said it wasn't clear how much the state had lost. His transition team said this week it would conduct a forensic audit of deals sealed by the Yameen administration, many of them with Chinese state firms.

The big worry for Solih's team is the debt the country has run up with Chinese lenders for projects such as a mile-long sea bridge connecting the airport to the capital, the airport expansion itself and massive housing projects on reclaimed islands.

Solih's transition team said it had been told the country owed $1.5 billion to Chinese lenders, but fear it could be much higher. Even a debt of $1.5 billion would be more than a quarter of the country's annual gross domestic product.

Modi told Solih that India stood ready to help the Maldives through its economic difficulties, the foreign ministry said in a statement following their meeting.

India, which has long been the Maldives' main political and economic partner, had grown concerned that China's expansive diplomacy was aimed at establishing an outpost on the islands.

China has already gained a strong foothold in Sri Lanka, just off the southern coast of India, where it has a built a port and now controls it in a debt-for-equity swap.

Modi and Solih agreed the two countries would be mindful of each other’s concerns and the need for stability in the Indian Ocean, the Indian foreign ministry said in the statement.

China has said it hoped there would be continuity in policies during Solih's presidency and it would create good conditions for Chinese firms.
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
Read full article
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch


Live TV

Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results