Beijing/Male, November 18
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy Shen Yiqin, who attended the inauguration of the new Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu at Male, called on him on Saturday and expressed Beijing’s readiness to promote the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects and push for new progress in the bilateral ties.
During the meeting Shen, a State Councillor, said China attaches great importance to its relations with the Maldives and was willing to work with Maldives under the new circumstances to strengthen high-level political guidance, deepen synergy of their development strategies, and further expand cooperation and exchanges in various fields.
China was also ready to promote high-quality BRI cooperation, and push for new progress in the future-oriented, all-round friendly and cooperative partnership, she said.
Muizzu said the new government of the Maldives firmly upholds the one-China policy and actively seeks to strengthen practical cooperation with China in various fields, including jointly building the BRI.
The BRI was an ambitious plan initiated by President Xi in 2013 to develop new trade routes connecting China with the rest of the world via land and maritime networks with the aim of improving regional integration, increasing trade, and stimulating economic growth.
Muizzu hoped to work hand in hand with China to usher in a new chapter in Maldives-China relations.
The election of Muizzu, seen as a close associate of former pro-China Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, raised expectations in Beijing that the archipelagic state strategically located in the Indian Ocean close to India’s southern coast would pursue pro-Beijing policies, unlike the incumbent Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who followed ‘India First’ policy and established close ties with New Delhi.
In his message greeting Muizzu earlier, Xi said China and the Maldives enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges.
Xi – who visited Maldives in 2014 and announced several Chinese investments under China’s BRI, which subsequently evoked criticism of being “debt traps” by the country’s opposition parties – said the two countries are not only friends of sincere trust and mutual assistance but also partners of joint development and common prosperity.
After her Maldives visit, Shen would visit Sri Lanka from November 18 to 21 at the invitation of the Sri Lankan government, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced earlier.
Most Read In 24 Hours
Don't MissView All
PM says for him, there are only four caste — women, youth, f...
Election Results 2023 LIVE updates: BJP set to form govt in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh; Congress to bag Telangana
While the saffron party retained Madhya Pradesh with a proje...
BJP gets majority, wins 120 of 230 seats
Saffron party crosses halfway mark, wins 100 seats
Counting of votes in elections to 90-member Assembly began a...