This file aerial photo taken on Sept 1, 2019 shows the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge in Maldives. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
MALE – China and the Maldives have pledged to work together to push for the stronger development of their relations.
While meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday, Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih said his country and China reached an important consensus last year on consolidating the ties and broaden pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said this year marks the 50th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and the Maldives, which have withstood the test of international vicissitudes and become more mature, thus contributing to the regional peace and stability
The president thanked China for its tremendous contribution to his country's socio-economic development, the firm support to his country's vaccination campaign against COVID-19, and its reduction and suspension of the Maldives' debt within the framework of G20.
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The Maldives firmly upholds the one China policy, and their sound bilateral ties and solid mutual trust are rooted in the long and traditional friendship and adherence to the principles of sovereign equality and mutual respect, the president stressed.
Expressing his confidence in the future development of bilateral ties, the Maldivian president said his country is ready to seize the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries to deepen mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation so as to push for the stronger development of bilateral ties.
For his part, Wang said this year marks the 50th anniversary of establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and the Maldives, which have withstood the test of international vicissitudes and become more mature, thus contributing to the regional peace and stability.
The most precious experiences from the five decades' exchanges between the two countries are the mutual respect, equal treatment as well as unity and mutual help which have consolidated the political foundation of the bilateral ties, Wang noted.
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Appreciating the Maldives' firm support on China's core interests, Wang said China has always supported the Maldives in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity, seeking a development path suited to its own national conditions and pursuing an independent foreign policy, Wang said.
China is willing to expand cooperation with the Maldives in all fields and back its efforts to push for the strategy of diversified development, he said, hoping that a free trade deal between the two countries will be approved at an early date so as to facilitate the economic transformation and upgrading of the Maldives.
Wang also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is the common enemy of mankind, and China will continue to uphold the vision of a global community of health for all and fight the virus side by side with the Maldives.
China is willing to continue providing the Maldives with anti-virus supplies including vaccines as needed, he said.
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The two sides also exchanged views on strengthening coordination on international affairs.
Wang also met with Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid with both sides pledging to jointly build the Belt and Road and focus on post-pandemic recovery.
he two sides will continue to build the Belt and Road with high quality, actively pushing for key projects on basic infrastructure, houses, around-the-island power grid, and sea water desalination so as to offer impetus to the Maldives' post-pandemic economic recovery, Wang said.