Chinese President Xi Jinping today conveyed his Government’s commitment to propel bilateral relations with the Maldives to a higher plane. Speaking at the bilateral talks with the visiting President of Maldives, H.E Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the Maldivian delegation, President Xi highlighted that China viewed the Maldives as a special friend and neighbour in Asia. He extended a very warm welcome to President Yameen and expressed his confidence that China-Maldives relations would be further strengthened as a result of this historic official visit to China by the Maldivian President.
In his remarks at the bilateral talks held at the Purple Palace of Nanjing, President Yameen thanked President Xi and the Chinese Government for the generous support and assistance extended to the socio-economic development of the Maldives over the years, in important areas of focus.
President Xi emphasised that the two countries had collaborated successfully at key international forums, including the UN Human Rights Council.
President Yameen noted that the Maldives had always been a standing supporter of the One-China policy and the Five Principals of Peaceful Coexistence. He also commended President Xi on his 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
President Xi highlighted that the Maldives would feature among the countries that are included within the Silk Road Sphere, and expressed China’s willingness to collaborate with the Maldives on key areas such as the development of ports and on protecting the pristine environment of the Maldives. Noting that China is today the top tourism market for the Maldives, the Chinese President said that his Government would encourage Chinese investors to establish “Chinese style” tourist resorts in the Maldives, which would contribute to increasing Chinese visitor numbers to the Maldives.
President Yameen briefed his Chinese counterpart on his economic vision and his desire to empower the youth. He outlined the key developmental projects envisaged for commencement in the time ahead, and emphasised that no project is as important or pertinent as the Male - Hulhule’ bridge. President Yameen expressed his satisfaction that the interest of corporate China towards the bridge project and other key economic manifesto projects. He went on to note that he desired in time, for the new bridge to be known as the “China Bridge” to symbolise the friendly ties between the two countries.
President Xi thanked President Yameen for briefing him on his economic agenda and assured that he would alert Chinese authorities to collaborate closely with the Maldives in ensuring the key development projects, including the bridge can be implemented with due urgency.