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China-Maldives fortifies ties, comprehensive strategic partnership announced

Beijing, 10 January, 2024 (GNP): In a significant diplomatic development, Chinese President Xi Jinping and President of the Republic of Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu, held crucial talks in Beijing on Wednesday, culminating in the announcement of an upgrade in bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Highlighting the historical ties between the two nations rooted in the ancient Maritime Silk Road, President Xi emphasized the productive cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The elevation of the relationship is seen as a testament to the 52 years of diplomatic ties between China and the Maldives, exemplifying mutual assistance, equality, and benefits between nations of different sizes.

Expressing China’s respect for the Maldives’ sovereignty and independence, President Xi pledged unwavering support for the country’s development tailored to its national conditions.

He underscored China’s readiness to exchange governance experience, strengthen development strategy synergy, and enhance Belt and Road cooperation, setting a new benchmark for bilateral relations.

President Xi advocated for intensified collaboration in economic sectors, including trade, investment, agricultural parks, and the blue, green, and digital economies.

Additionally, he emphasized joint efforts in marine ecological protection, bolstered people-to-people exchanges, and affirmed support for more Maldivian students to study in China, promoting increased direct flights between the nations.

Furthermore, President Xi highlighted the importance of multilateral cooperation to safeguard genuine multilateralism and the collective interests of developing countries, aiming to construct a shared future for humanity fostering global peace, security, and prosperity.

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He pledged China’s commitment to implementing agreements reached at the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai and the Paris Agreement.

President Muizzu, on his first state visit to China, reaffirmed the Maldives’ staunch adherence to the one-China policy.

He commended China’s substantial assistance in his country’s socio-economic development, acknowledging the Belt and Road Initiative’s positive impact, symbolized by the Maldives-China Friendship Bridge.

President Muizzu’s visit further solidified mutual cooperation, signified by the signing of various agreements in areas such as the Belt and Road construction, disaster management, economic and technological sectors, infrastructure development, people’s livelihoods, green and blue economies, and digital innovations.

The eventful talks and the signing of significant agreements underscored the shared commitment between China and the Maldives to further strengthen cooperation across various domains for mutual benefit and global development.