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Xi Jinping Arrives in Male, Starting His State Visit to Maldives

2014/09/15

On September 14, 2014, President Xi Jinping arrived in Male, starting his state visit to Maldives.

At around 5: 30 in the afternoon local time, Xi Jinping arrived at the Male International Airport by special plane. President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of Maldives and his wife paid a special trip to the airport to welcome Xi Jinping and his wife Mme. Peng Liyuan.

Yameen, on behalf of the Maldivian government and people, warmly welcomed Xi Jinping's visit. Yameen said, Xi Jinping's visit is the first visit to Maldives by a Chinese president over the past 42 years since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between Maldives and China, and the Maldivian people are looking forward to this visit.

Xi Jinping extended sincere regards and best wishes from the Chinese people to the Maldivian people. Xi Jinping pointed out that, over the past 42 years since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and Maldives, the bilateral relations have developed healthily and stably and have become a model of equal treatment and harmonious co-existence between big and small countries. Recently, Mr. President went to Nanjing, China, to attend the second Summer Youth Olympic Games, showing the warm support of the Maldivian government and people to China. Maldives is an important link of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, sharing profound historical relationship with China. The Chinese side welcomes the Maldivian side to actively participate in the construction of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, and stands ready to join efforts with the Maldivian side and help each other to consolidate traditional friendship, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and join hands to realize common development.

Yameen said, during his visit, President Xi Jinping published a signed article in Maldivian media, arousing strong response in their country. He completely agrees to propositions concerning the development of the bilateral relations put forward by President Xi Jinping in the article. President Xi Jinping's visit fully indicates that, as a major country with influence, China attaches importance to and respects small island countries like Maldives. They are deeply moved by this. He looks forward to exchanging in-depth views with President Xi Jinping on the Maldives-China relations and promoting Maldives and China to become good friends and partners with closer ties.

When Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan were leaving the airport, the local people sang and danced, waved national flags of the two countries, and held placards reading in Chinese, English and the local language Dhivehi "Thank China", "Enhance the China-Maldives Relations, Build the Bridge of Friendship", "China and Maldives Are Partners of Common Development" and "Maritime Silk Road, the Dream of the whole Asia". Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan went to them and waved to them. The Maldivian young people, dressed in splendid attire for festival, spread petals all over the red carpet according to the local customs to welcome the distinguished guests. The two heads of state and their wives bade farewell at the port of the island where the airport is located, and Xi Jinping and Peng Liyuan went to the hotel by boat.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and other delegation members arrived by the same plane.

H.E. Wang Fukang, Chinese Ambassador to Maldives, also went to the airport to welcome them.

Maldives is an island country amid the Indian Ocean, consisting of over a thousand islands. Ferries are used as transportation between different islands.

It is after his attendance at the 14th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and his state visit to Tajikistan that President Xi Jinping arrived in Male.

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