søndag 20. september 2020

China debt dogs Maldives' 'bridge to prosperity'

For years Aminat Waheeda drove her taxi along the narrow lanes and congested roads of the Maldives capital looking for passengers. The most lucrative fares - airport arrivals - were out of reach. The airport serving Male is on a different island and a speedboat was needed to get between the two. In 2018, that all changed, as did Ms Waheeda's life. And the single mother of two teenagers has China to thank.

A 2.1km (1.3-mile), four-lane bridge built with $200m (£148m) from Beijing means Male's taxi drivers can now pick up passengers right from the airport entrance. "After the bridge was built, transportation got easy for everyone," she says. "[It] has helped taxi drivers like me to earn more money." In fact, her income doubled.