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China-Maldives Relations Will Achieve Greater Development from a New Starting Point

2019/09/20

On September 20, 2019, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives in Beijing.

Wang Yi said, it had been the consistent position of China that all countries, big or small, are equal. China is willing to consolidate and develop the future-oriented China-Maldives comprehensive friendly and cooperative partnership based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The Chinese side supports the Maldives in maintaining independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and in exploring a development path suited to the national conditions of the Maldives. The new government of the Maldives reaffirms its firm adherence to the One China principle, which the Chinese side appreciates. The Chinese side also supports the Maldives in playing a more significant role in regional and international affairs as a representative of small island countries. The Chinese side stands firmly with the Maldivian side, especially on coping with climate change.

Wang Yi said, both sides should enhance high-level exchanges and constantly increase mutual trust. The Chinese side is willing to continue to uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, stick to the goal of high-standard, people-centered, and sustainable development, and work with the Maldivian side to advance cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative for the development of the Maldives' economy and society. It is hoped that the Maldivian side could offer preferential terms and create sound business environment for Chinese enterprises and push for the early entry into force of the bilateral free trade agreement. Both sides should deepen cooperation in such areas as people's livelihood and ocean and intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges in youth, tourism, sports and sister cities, so as to promote mutual understanding and friendship between the people of two countries.

Abdulla Shahid extended his congratulations on the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He said, China, as a great country with an ancient civilization, has led the world in achieving inclusive and sustainable development and made achievements that amazed the world. China is playing an increasingly important role in global affairs. Since China and the Maldives established diplomatic relations 47 years ago, both sides have pushed for substantial development of bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The new government of the Maldives firmly adheres to the One China principle and is committed to further promoting strong bilateral relations. The Maldives is willing to deeply participate in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and strengthen communication and coordination between the two sides in international affairs.

After the talks, Wang Yi and Abdulla Shahid signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the two Foreign Ministries and witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents.

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