Agreements on bridge and airport penned during Chinese president’s visit

The historic visit of Chinese President Xi Jinpeng today saw MoUs signed on the development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport and promoting the construction of the Male-Hulhulé bridge.

Following a lively welcoming ceremony – featuring a Chinese dragon, Maldivian dancing, and a 21 gun salute – President Xi and President Abdulla Yameen observed the signing of eight MoUs.

The visit has also seen the signing of a preliminary contract agreement on the development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

Xi’s arrival marks the first visit to the Maldives by a Chinese president in the 42 years since diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in October, 1972.

The most notable MoU concerned the promoting the construction of the long-awaited Male-Hulhulé Bridge – with a replica awaiting President Xi’s arrival at Republic Square this morning.

A foreign ministry statement has said that the Chinese government will “favourably consider” providing financial support for the project.

Both presidents also launched two Chinese funded and implemented projects concerning housing in Hulhumalé and a link road in Laamu Atoll. The housing project is to be financed through concessional loans, while the 15.1km Laamu road project will be constructed through non-reimbursable aid financing.

Other MoUs were signed on health sector promotion, establishing a joint committee on trade and economic cooperation, strengthening cooperation between the foreign ministries of both countries, and establishing a joint mechanism on dealing with the issue of safety and security of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives.

President Yameen also revealed that further development of the tourism industry had been discussed during today’s talks, expressing hope that Chinese arrivals would increase three-fold over the next four years. Chinese tourists currently make up around 30 percent of all arrivals to the country.

During a joint press conference on Monday at the President’s Office, President Yameen thanked China for its assistance, stating that “graduation from a less developed country has come with enormous challenges and hardships.”

“As a small island state, we are at a disadvantaged position in global commerce and trade. Our socio-economic development forecast changed dramatically with the status of a middle income country”.

“At such a crucial juncture in our development, it is indeed a source of major encouragement and inspiration that one of our most trusted economic partners is willing to support our national effort to transform our economy, bringing happiness to our youthful population and promoting trade and investment,” he stated.

New phase

In addition to the Maldivian President, President Xi Jinping and his delegation have also met with Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed and other senior government officials.

Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Fukang – signatory of a number of today’s MoUs – told Chinese media that, after decades of development ties, the bilateral relationship had entered a new phase

“China has helped with several construction projects in the Maldives, including the foreign ministry building, and the national museum. This has been totally free of cost. We have also helped the country build a thousand residential homes,” said Wang.

A press release from the President’s Office reveals that the Housing Project’s Phase II will be funded through concessional loan financing by the Government of China, and implemented by the China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Yameen also praised the New Silk Road project, reported by Chinese state media to be pass the intended site of the Ihavandhippolhu Integrated Development Project – or ‘iHavan’ – in the northernmost atoll in the Maldives.

“Maldives is now honoured to feature among China’s partners in building a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – a unique vision of President Xi which will bring Asian neighbours closer together,” said Yameen at this morning’s press conference.

In an op-ed published in local media ahead of the visit, President Xi called for the Maldives “to get actively involved in building the 21st century maritime Silk Road by leveraging its own strength.”

“China looks forward to working with Maldives to speedily translate this cooperation initiative into reality so as to boost the development and prosperity of all countries and the rise of Asia,” wrote President Xi.

The foreign ministry reports that the Maldives is prepared to actively participate in relevant cooperation with regard to the establishment of the Silk Road, and that the two countries further agreed to cooperate in the fields of maritime issues, economy, and security.


10 thoughts on “Agreements on bridge and airport penned during Chinese president’s visit”

  1. India and allies just can't just bear this relationship happening because Indian Embassy's efforts of robbing Ibrahim Nasir International Airport using GMR as tool failed because of their greedy and colonial approach. MALDIVIANS are a proud people and will never accept to be subservient to India. Over my dead body to the say the least.

    Thanks President Xi of China for accepting invitation from President Yameen and visiting the Maldives; now seeing and feeling the Maldives in real. A greedy Indian Head of State would try to somehow bully Maldivians into a tricky loan situation or force an Indian multinational like TATA or a GMR to colonize the Maldives and create a situation dependency to Indian will. Once they are in, it will be a difficult situation to get the stinker out.

  2. Chinese investment at it's best, enjoy.

  3. Undemocratic as they are compared to the west, there is no denying that China is soon going to be more than a economic Juggernaut in this world.

    U.S has excellent trade and economic relations with commie China. It would be the ultimate hypocrisy to criticize trade relations with them in the Maldives on the basis of democratic relations.

  4. Don't underestimate china ...they invaded Tibet in same way.The way the r moving not thinking of present situation..This is their future plan of 50 years forward ...they r most powerful nation..We never know they might take whole Maldives.India they r not so strong financially but for sure they will never take or attack any country.We have I wait and watch .What happens it's too early to decide or make a opinion...All this projects it's Like a sweet chocolate which might turn into poison as well.

  5. democracy comes after development . US built thier country with slaves and so does europe. Today they are talking of all rights because they don't want any country to develop like them.

    But china has dismissed all what they have been pushing . Result of not listening and not entertaining thier pressure, is what china has achieved in last 20 years. China is the second largest economy today and will take over US in juts few years.

    Lesson to lean from them

  6. Normally the uprights of the bridges, get the most attention, but I our case the side barriers would need extra padding. A lot of padding!

    Make sure the Chinese are aware of this. The alternative is to have a crane permanently fixed to the bridge, to salvage the vehicles that will be driven by the fast&furious supermen, who are too eager to show their manliness by showing the world they can press on the accelerator.

    I expect and average of 1 vehicle a week, that would need to be salvaged from the sea under the bridge.

    Made for Maldives bridge.

  7. Rename Ibrahim Nasir Airport Xi Jinping International Airport and you will be able to con the Chinese into building it for free. You can also call the Hulmale bridge Wang Fukang Causeway for the same reason.
    I have never understood why you 'true believers' have never given your construction projects to you Sunni mates in Pakistan.....same intolerant religious beliefs, same drug addicted society, same low IQ and same dumb belief that you have arab ancestry.
    How are preparations going for the global jihad?


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