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The Tongan Government this year will start repaying the Chinese loan of more than US$100 million that was taken for recovery and reconstruction after the Nuku'alofa riots of 16 November 2006.
Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva told local media this week the repayment was deferred to this year, after the government asked over the past years.
He said government would start repaying the principal loan starting in this year’s budget.
“In the meantime, government has paid around $16 million (US$6.9 million) in interest. Our journey now into future is that we would keep on asking China to divert this loan into a grant,” he said.
Government took out the US$119 million loan from China for the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa after riots and arson attacks destroyed much of the Central Business District.
SOURCE: TONGA WIRES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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