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Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin at the Business Forum on Joint Construction of the “Belt and Road”between China and Maldives

(From Chinese Embassy in Maldives)

2022-12-15 19:06

On December 14th, 2022, the Chinese Embassy in the Maldives and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Maldives co-hosted the Business Forum on Joint Construction of the “Belt and Road” between China and Maldives. H.E. Ambassador Wang Lixin delivered remarks as follows:

Honorable Mr. Uz. Fayyaz Ismail, Minister of Economic Development,

Respected Mr. Maobao, President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Maldives,

Respected senior officials from the relevant Ministries of Maldives,

Respected representatives from the business communities of the two countries,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good morning!

On the important historical occasion of the 50th anniversary of China-Maldives diplomatic relations, the Chinese Embassy in the Maldives and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Maldives co-host the Business Forum on Joint Construction of the “Belt and Road” between China and Maldives, inviting the senior officials of relevant Ministries and business representatives from China and Maldives to explore ways and means to promote the bilateral economic and trade cooperation so as to expand new areas and projects, and open up new prospects. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in the Maldives, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all the distinguished guests present here today, and express my heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Maldives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their strong support for the Forum!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Maldives relations. Looking back, the short video has shown the great achievements we have made on joint construction of the “Belt and Road” and the great benefits brought to the Maldivian people. I believe some friends present here today have contributed a lot to those projects. Looking into the future, we are more confident about our practical cooperation since China has now embarked on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects and Maldives’ social & economic development has come to a new stage as well. 

The recently concluded 20th CPC National Congress has made the blueprint for the future development of China, which is of great significance not only to China, but also to the friendly neighboring countries including the Maldives and the world at large. The most important achievement of this Congress is that it has elected the new leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, reflecting the common aspirations of the whole Party, entire army, and people of all ethnic groups in China. The congress stated that from this day forward, the central task of the Communist Party of China will be to lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted effort to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Chinese modernization contains elements that are common to the modernization processes of all countries, but it is more characterized by features that are unique to the Chinese context.

It is the modernization of a huge population, the modernization of common prosperity for all, the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and the modernization of peaceful development.

China has always been committed to its foreign policy of upholding world peace and promoting common development, and it is dedicated to promoting a human community with a shared future. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace, adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries, and promotes a new type of international relations. China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world, and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. China strives to create new opportunities for the world with its own development, and to contribute its share to building an open global economy that delivers greater benefits to all peoples.

We believe that under President Xi Jinping’s strong leadership, and with the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will surely achieve the development strategies and goals set by the 20th CPC National Congress. We are also convinced that Chinese modernization will bring new opportunities for the world to meet common challenges and achieve common development, and will benefit a large number of developing countries including the Maldives.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and Maldives are friendly neighbors, and the traditional friendship between the two peoples dates back to ancient times. Over the past 50 years of diplomatic ties between China and Maldives, the two countries have always respected and supported each other, which has set a good example of countries of different sizes treating each other as equals and seeking win-win cooperation. We highly appreciate that the Maldivian government has been firmly committed to the one-China principle. In recent years, the two countries tided over difficulties together and offered helping hands to each other, worked together to cope with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic unseen in a century, deepened cooperation under the “Belt and Road” Initiatives, opening up a new chapter for China-Maldives relations. China has provided 200,000 doses of vaccines and a large amount of anti-epidemic materials to the Maldives. The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, a landmark project of the “Belt and Road” Initiative and the symbol of the profound friendship between China and Maldives, has witnessed over 100 million crossings by the local people over the past 4 years. So far the Chinese enterprises have completed more than 11,000 social housing units, and contributed a lot in improving the living conditions of the local residents in the Maldives. The newly upgraded and expanded Velana International Airport has doubled its transport capability and will greatly promote the development of Maldivian tourism. The Chinese enterprises have also extensively participated in such cooperation projects as new energy, power grids, office buildings, garbage disposal and so on in the Maldives. Facts have proved that close cooperation between China and Maldives has brought transformative effects to the Maldives and tangible benefits to the Maldivian people. China and Maldives are now embarking on a shared path of hope, prosperity and happiness.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China has always been supporting the Maldives to speed up its economic and social development and improve its self-development capability. In the new era, China is willing to work together with the Maldives to promote China-Maldives friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with more fruitful results to better benefit the two peoples. In view of this, I would like to make three points:

Firstly, we should enhance the docking of the Maldives Economic Diversification Strategy with Global Development Initiative. To accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda, President Xi Jinping proposed the GDI at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in 2021, aiming to pursue more robust, greener and more balanced global development. In June this year, China proposed 32 practical measures at the High-level Dialogue on Global Development for implementing the GDI, including such important areas as poverty reduction, food security, climate change and green development, and upgraded China’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund into the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, with its scale expanded to 4 billion USD. We have noticed that the Maldives is actively implementing the Economic Diversification Strategy in order to ensure stable and sustainable economic development. China is willing to work with the Maldives to dock the Maldives Economic Diversification Strategy with GDI, strengthen cooperation in the fields of climate change, agriculture & fishery, blue economy and renewable energy to promote the economic recovery and sustainable development in the Maldives. It is also hoped that the Maldives will complete the ratification procedure of the FTA and sign the MOU on Deepening Blue Economy Cooperation at an early date, so as to facilitate the Maldivian products and services entering into the Chinese market and inject new impetus into the Maldivian economy.

Secondly, we should further deepen practical cooperation between China and Maldives. In January, Chinese State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid an official visit to the Maldives and achieved fruitful results. The two sides signed a series of cooperation agreements, and the relevant projects are under steady implementation. The feasibility study on Management and Maintenance of China-Maldives Friendship Bridge is underway. The Seawater Desalination equipment on five islands is being installed one by one and will be put into use very soon. The ophthalmology center in Hulumalé will be restarted and the Chinese doctors & nurses will come to the Maldives in the near future. State Councilor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi also shared his ideas on how to promote China-Maldives practical cooperation, including accelerating the construction of key projects and expanding cooperation in communication, big data, tourism, blue economy and climate change. The Chinese side is willing to work with the Maldivian side to implement the above results of the high-level visit and to promote the high-quality construction of the "Belt and Road" between China and Maldives for new achievements.

Thirdly, we should continue to bring into full play the Tripartite Coordinating Mechanism Meeting. China encourages the Chinese enterprises to help the Maldives promote the economic and social development through investment. In order to ensure the smooth communication of information between the two sides and to timely solve the problems encountered by the Chinese enterprises, the two sides held the tripartite coordinating mechanism meeting on joint construction of the "Belt and Road" in September this year, which achieved very good results. It is hoped that this coordinating mechanism can continue to play an important role in enhancing information-sharing and policy exchanges among the relevant parties, exploring new areas and projects of cooperation, and ensuring the safety of the Chinese projects and people in the Maldives. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant authorities of the Maldives for their continuous support to promote China-Maldives practical cooperation. I hope that the participants will also take this opportunity to fully exchange views and actively put forward proposals on how to tap the potential and further enhance the economic and trade cooperation, and make new contributions to the development of our bilateral relations. I believe that with the joint efforts from both sides, our cooperation on joint construction of Belt & Road will usher in a bright future. 

Finally, I wish the forum a great success!

I wish China and Maldives enjoy everlasting friendship!

Thank you!

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