The Chinese Embassy in Malé held a reception to mark the Chinese New Year in Dharubaaruge last night.
Speaking at the reception, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dunya Maumoon stated that relations between the Maldives and China have strengthened and “accelerated to unprecedented levels in the last year”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Maldives in September of last year prompted talks that led to the the Maldives officially agreeing to participate in the Silk Road trade route and to engage upon free trade in the future.
Dunya noted that the relationship between the two countries was based on “sovereignty and territorial integrity; it is about non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; it is about peaceful co-existence; and most importantly, it is about cooperation for mutual benefit.”
Chinese Ambassador Wang Fukang stated while “high level exchanges have been frequent and fruitful” between the Maldives and China, “economic cooperation has been enhanced and expanded”, along with “people to people exchanges”.
Fukang pledged that the Chinese government will facilitate Maldivian fish products to be exported to China, will encourage more Chinese tourists to visit the Maldives, will provide more training and scholarship opportunities for Maldivians, will improve cooperation “in areas like technology, culture and wealth”, and will “enhance cooperation particularly on issues like climate change”.
Last night’s speeches were followed by cultural performances from both Maldivian and Chinese youth, including a song sung in Mandarin by a Maldivian performer.