China pledged assistance for bridge project, says President Yameen

The Chinese government has pledged assistance in building a bridge connecting the capital Malé and Hulhumalé, President Abdulla Yameen told the press last night upon returning from a visit to China.

“[Chinese President Xi Jinping] said let us form an economic council or committee. So we have come after determining representatives from our side on the joint committee,” Yameen told reporters at the airport.

Once the high-level joint commission is set up, Yameen said a feasibility study would be conducted with a team of Chinese engineers due to arrive this year.

The team would study the strength of ocean currents, he explained, which was necessary to determine the “strength of the structure” of the bridge as well as an estimated cost.

“When that is completed, the Chinese government informed us during the meetings that one of the contractors [that have expressed interest] would then begin work,” he said.

“So God willing, we hope work could begin very soon.”

The Chinese ambassador is due to arrive in the Maldives in a few days with a list of Chinese representatives on the joint commission, he revealed.

Yameen also said the likelihood of the bridge project being awarded to a Chinese company was “99 percent” and that “a large portion” of the project would be financed through free or concessional aid from China.

The Chinese president was meanwhile briefed about other ‘mega projects’ the government plans to commence, Yameen said, adding that “major Chinese contractors” would undertake the projects.

The Chinese government could ensure that loan facilities sought from the Chinese EXIM bank would be provided at a very low interest rate, he explained.

Meetings also took place between the Maldivian delegation and “large Chinese civil works companies,” Yameen noted.

Based on assurances from Xi Jinping, Yameen expressed confidence of receiving significant assistance from the Chinese government for the bridge project.

The Chinese government also provided MVR250 million (US$16 million) as grant aid during the president’s trip.

Diplomatic cooperation

Discussions also focused on “important matters for China in international diplomacy,” Yameen revealed, referring to the the Chinese ‘New Silk Road’ project, which he said was intended to foster economic relations and increase trade between China and Asia-Pacific nations.

“We requested participation in the Silk Road initiative and were immediately welcomed,” he said.

Yameen said he also invited the Chinese president to visit the Maldives for next year’s 50th anniversary of independence and Xi Jinping “promptly” accepted the invitation.

“So we believe [Sino-Maldives] relations are very good and [the Chinese government] was very well-prepared for our visit,” he added.

Yameen said the Maldives would back China in the international arena as the two countries shared “the same principles on a number of issues, especially concerning the Indian Ocean region, human rights and many such matters.”

He stressed, however, that the “main focus” of the discussions was the development projects envisioned by the government.

Asked if closer ties with China would adversely impact relations with India or Japan, Yameen said Sino-Maldives economic cooperation would not affect “the very friendly, close relations with India”.

“All these projects are also open to India and we are doing a lot of diplomatic work with India,” he said, referring to his administration’s decision not to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States as an example of cooperation.

On relations with Japan, Yameen noted that a project for the construction of a new terminal at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) would be jointly undertaken by the Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL) and two Japanese companies.

“No country has expressed concern so far and I don’t believe they will either,” he said.


9 thoughts on “China pledged assistance for bridge project, says President Yameen”

  1. we have no doubt on this. China and other countries will support Yameen to develop our nation.

    China will not bully us like what India has done in 2012 demanding to pay the loan to get paid or else make the country to declare bankruptcy .

    Luckily a Maldivian business had helped to pay back the loan and taken us from the grave yard that was created by Nasheed.

  2. The Chinese can make thinks work. Thats why China is not India.

    Miss IndiaNewDelhi' would secretly agree if often disagrees publicly.

  3. What a contrast with the USA! China builds infrastructure, pays for resources whereas USA destabilizes, destroys, steals resources and kills in large numbers.

  4. this guy is insane.
    china and human rights?
    anything made in china is fake.
    they come here and eat what they bring with them. while a european sends lets say a 1000 usd on a resort in ten days chinese not even 100.

  5. 70% of goods are manufactured in China ? Even IPhone is manufactured in China and exported to other countries ?

    I guess some MDP thugs do not want to hear and see any improvement that is happening and then to happened to this country under Yameen leadership.

    But Yameen is not stop and he will lift this country to next level and our economy will go into next phase and our living standard will become much better in next few years.

  6. I'd like to apologize for Hero's ignorant statements. He was never educated, and still thinks Maumoon is a god who can shoot super-fast balls in cricket.

    Yes, even your iphone is made in China. But if Anni established diplomatic relations with China, your kind would be out foaming at the mouth against the "Israel of the East" because the Chinese government loves to mess with muslims.

    But, since you're getting your gram of heroin for keeping silent, that's what you do. You've always been a hypocrite, little brother. I hope you find the light before Judgement Day comes.

  7. Maldivian in general are not against any country and they were very peaceful and happy people before Nasheed took this country as a revenge for his own failure.

    I now some people are not happy since we did not allow Nasheed and his Gnags to rob this country as they wished and we managed to get out the fellow .

  8. China does not give anything away for free. They built 3 bridges in Bangladesh and in the space of 3 years the bridges were in drastic need of urgent repairs, which could only be done by the Chinese contractor who built them. The cost was 5 times the original price to build them and had to be paid by the government of Bangladesh, but the Chinese knew this from the start as they write this in the aid agreements, its how they make their money.

    Nigeria also fell foul of Chinese Aid and investment. The Chinese bought out and own all insurance companies in Nigeria and if you want to do business there you can't get insurance if a Chinese company is also bidding for the contract. Coal, Oil, Iron and minerals all head back to China, with little or no profit going back into Nigeria.

    If China is investing or giving aid, it is only at the benefit of the Chinese and the corrupt officials who will pocket from these deals, not the Maldivian people.

  9. @DMF don't worry this bridge will never be build. the money will go in to paying off presidential debts owed for the last election, then for the prezo and related persons personal expenses, then there will be a story about how much the funds were needed for the health sector and the govt's decision to use the funds for healthcare developments, which never really happen but only gets spoken of, and maybe will pay for a prezo related persons heavy medical care needs and no one will be the wiser as to what happened to all the big funds the China gave to the Maldives to build a fantasy bridge between Male' and Hulhumale'.


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