Maldives set to pull out of free trade deal with China, says it was a ‘mistake’

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The Maldives’ new government will pull out of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China because it was a mistake for the tiny nation to strike such a pact with the world’s second biggest economy, the head of the largest party in the ruling alliance said.

It is the latest sign of a backlash against China in the Maldives, best-known for its luxury resorts on palm-fringed coral islands.

“The trade imbalance between China and the Maldives is so huge that nobody would think of an FTA between such parties,” said Mohamed Nasheed, the chief of the Maldivian Democratic Party, which leads the ruling federal alliance. “China is not buying anything from us. It is a one-way treaty.”

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