China ‘offered 1MDB bail-out’

China ‘offered 1MDB bail-out’

China ‘offered 1MDB bail-out’

The journalists reviewed minutes from meetings between Chinese and Malaysian officials that had not been disclosed before.

The fugitive businessman, through his spokesman, said the report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) was merely a trial by media, and shifted the blame on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his administration instead.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal, in its review of the minutes from a series of previously undisclosed meetings, had reported that senior Chinese leaders had offered in 2016 to help bail out a Malaysian government fund in return for lucrative stakes in railway and pipeline projects under its "One Belt, One Road" programme of building infrastructure overseas.

THE Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur today dismissed as "baseless" a news report's allegations that China worked out a secret deal with Malaysia to bail out the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd in exchange for construction contracts.

The embassy also said that China and Malaysia treated each other as friendly neighbours and honest partners all along.

Huge sums of public money were purportedly stolen from state fund 1MDB and used to buy everything from yachts to artwork in a scheme that allegedly involved former premier Najib Razak and contributed to his government's shock election defeat in May.

"China has all along adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any other country".

1MDB is at the centre of a global scandal involving claims of embezzlement and money laundering, with jurisdictions from the US, Malaysia and Singapore probing cases related to the fund.

Lim Guan Eng, the current finance minister of Malaysia, said that he is "interested to have a copy of those minutes" that the WSJ examined, and would "pursue" anything that is "in black and white" regarding improper deals, the FT reports (paywall). New terms are reportedly being negotiated.There are many other juicy details in the piece, including that Xiào Yàqìng 肖亚庆, chairman of China's State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, had said at a meeting on June 28, 2016 that Xi Jinping had personally approved the infrastructure initiatives.

Goldman's role is under scrutiny as the Wall Street titan helped arrange $6.5 billion in bonds for 1MDB, with Kuala Lumpur accusing the bank and its former employees of misappropriating billions of dollars. It could not be determined whether China provided any such information, the newspaper added.

In return, Malaysia offered stakes in railway and pipeline projects as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative. He has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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