Malaysian PM Mahathir warns PH to be ‘careful’ with Chinese loans

Malaysian PM Mahathir warns PH to be ‘careful’ with Chinese loans

- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is in the Philippines for a two-day visit

- During an interview, Mahathir said that the Philippines should be careful with Chinese loans

- He also mentioned about the influx of Chinese workers in the Philippines

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Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has recently arrived in the Philippines for a two-day visit. KAMI learned that as the Prime Minister enjoys his stay in the country, he gave a warning to the Philippines in terms of dealing with Chinese loans.

In a report by the Philippine Star, Mahathir mentioned about Malaysia’s own experience with “unfair” deals with China in terms of infrastructure projects.

“This is something that of course China has been accused of, but it is also the country’s concern which can regulate or limit all these influences from China,” the Prime Minister said.

“If you borrow huge sums of money from China and you cannot pay—you know when a person is a borrower he is under the control of the lender. So we have to be very careful with that,” he added.

Last year, it was reported that Mahathir canceled a $22 billion worth of projects funded by the Chinese government. The multi-billion project was awarded by his predecessor, Najib Razak, who is now facing a financial scandal.

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Many critics have warned the Duterte administration about the alleged “debt trap” by China where they would offer “friendly” loans to other developing countries to build more infrastructures and when the country can no longer pay the loan, then China has control over it.

However, Philippine officials assured the Filipinos that the country will not fall into China’s alleged debt trap.

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According to a report by Rappler, Mahathir also gave a caution about the influx of Chinese workers in the Philippines.

"Foreign direct investment should not involve bringing huge numbers of foreigners to live in the country because that might disturb the political equations in the country," the Prime Minister said.

"If huge numbers of any foreigners (come) to live and stay in the country or to even influence the economy of a country, then you have to do some rethinking as to whether it is good or bad, or the limits that you have to impose on them," he added.

In recent reports, there were at least 200,000 Chinese that started working in the Philippines ever since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed his post in 2016.

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