Maldives and China has enjoyed a long, fruitful and mutually beneficial relationship. This is testament from the long standing friendship between them, and the countless assistance provided from each other in trying times.
This strongly forged bond was recognized, and acknowledged recently by the Chinese Ambassador to Maldives H.E. Wang Lixin. The ambassador highlighted 50 years of China-Maldives bilateral relations during the special commemoratory event held on Saturday evening, October 22.
The ceremony was attended by dignitaries of both countries, including Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, flanked by Vice President Faisal Naseem and government top brass along with Chinese officials alongside Ambassador Lixin.
President Solih shed intimate light on the close ties akin to kinship, shared by the two nations. He also gave emphasis on the two countries treating each other as sovereign equals despite the geographical disparity. The Maldives statesman had thanked China for its continued support towards socio-economic and health sector development efforts in the Maldives, inclusive finding notable solutions for housing predicaments.
In his statement, President Solih highlights the key to the sustained bilateral ties between the two countries rests on mutual respect.
The Ambassador highlighted China's journey to realize economic stability under Chinese President H.E. Xi Jinping's administration. She made emphasis on developmental strides made by the global economic superpower in terms of its contributions and progress.
Moreover, the ambassador was keen to highlight complete eradication of illiteracy from China - and noted on various efforts made by the country to eradicate the global illiteracy rate, while the Asian giant observed an 18.5 percent economic growth in past 10 years.
Noting significant achievements of China, Lixin confirms the country has roped more than 140 global nations as trading partners under its "Belt and Road" initiative.
Speaking in the same regard, she also stressed on various infrastructural projects carried out in the Maldives with China's assistance. She recognizes the progressive streak of the island nation in recent years, adding that the island nation has continued to pave its way towards positive urbanization. Lixin made special emphasis on the Sinamale' Bridge, built through China's direct support and involvement - and the largest infrastructure development project completed in the Maldives till date - along with the mammoth task of developing multiple 24 story housing towers under the Hiyaa Flat initiative.
Recently, Ambassador Lixin attended the grand unveiling of the new runway at Velana International Airport (VIA), which she mentioned in her speech as well. The airport expansion project under the assistance of the Chinese government observed a major "face-lift" of the country's busiest air-gateway. The project scope including a terminal expansion, new seaplane terminal and the development of a comparatively larger runway with apron.
During Saturday's commemorative ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Maldives-China relations, Chinese Ambassador gifted a plaque of recognition to Maldives President, symbolizing the long sustained ties between the nations. The event concluded with cultural plays showcasing traditions of the two countries.