Tonga PM goes cold on collective push over Chinese loans
August 17, 2018 5:45 pm
The prime minister of Tonga says it is probably not the right time for Pacific countries to collectively push China to convert loans they owe into aid grants.
’Akilisi Pohiva was speaking after he made suggestions last weekend that the Pacific push for China to forgive the debts that have accrued in several Pacific countries.
Tonga itself is this year starting to repay a huge loan granted by China for the rebuilding of Nuku’alofa after a riot 12 years ago.
Mr Pohiva said it was not appropriate at the moment for all the countries to make an appeal together.
He said they were all likely to have different bilateral relationships with China.
‘Akilisi Pohiva said his government has not formally asked China to turn the Nuku’alofa loan into a grant, but the previous administration had unsuccessfully requested this in 2013.