Malaysia Eyes Reducing Loans From China - Dr Mahathir

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By Abdul Muin Majid
TOKYO, June 11 (Bernama) -- Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that Malaysia will remain friendly with China but it would not want to be indebted to that country.

The prime minister pointed out that the previous government had borrowed large sums of money for big projects, and the only country willing to lend such big amounts was China.

He said no one cared then whether Malaysia was able to repay the loans or not.

"So, we'll have to find ways and means to reduce the loans and establish old relationship with China as a good trading partner," Dr Mahathir said at a dialogue session organised by the Japan National Press Club here on Monday.

The prime minister, who is on a working visit to Japan, had earlier attended the 24th International Conference on the Future of Asia, or Nikkei Conference, at a leading hotel in the Japanese capital.

On another matter, Dr Mahathir said that the government generally did not believe that Foreign Direct Investment meant for Malaysia's development should entail foreigners being brought to settle in the country.

"They (developers) can develop but we'll not allow foreigners to come and settle in our country," he told the well-attended event.

He said that many countries practised the same thing .

"Even America is building the wall against Mexico, they want to keep the country to themselves and so do every other country," the prime minister said in justifying Malaysia's stand.

-- BERNAMA