Vice President Mohamed Waheed Deen spoke yesterday at a ceremony marking 63 years since the People’s Republic of China was founded, expressing gratitude for the technical and economic assistance the Maldives had been provided and pledging further cooperation between the two nations in the future.
At the special reception held at Trader’s Hotel in Male’ yesterday, the vice president also praised the speed and nature of democratic development within China – something he hoped to see emulated in the Maldives.
“I have no doubt your country is going in the right direction and leading the world,” he told attendees, which included business figures, senior government representatives and diplomats.
“Even if you look at the political changes in china they have proved that they are taking patient, calculative, constructive and very objective directions and I believe that is how the democracy must be developed, not very hastily.”
The vice president, a local philanthropist and owner of the Bandos Island Resort and Spa, also praised the growing economic significance of China to the Maldives in terms of trade and tourism income.
“I am pleased to note that China is currently the number one tourist market for the Maldives and I hope that the number of Chinese tourists travelling to the Maldives will continue to increase,” he said. “In addition, trade between the Maldives and China has increased significantly in the past few years and China remains one of the largest trading partners of the Maldives.”
The reception was the first of its kind to be held by China in the Maldives since the country opened its first full diplomatic mission in Male’ last year.
According to the vice president, 2012 also marks 40 years since China and the Maldives first established diplomatic ties.