Premier Li calls for expanding cooperation with Maldives

Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Thursday met with Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu, who is on a state visit to China, in Beijing, calling for continuing to expand the breadth and depth of practical cooperation between the two countries.

Li said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China and the Maldives have always respected and treated each other as equals and firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns. Bilateral economic and trade cooperation has become increasingly close, which has enhanced the well-being of the two peoples.

Li noted that the elevation of China-Maldives ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, announced by the two heads of state on Wednesday, opens a new chapter in bilateral relations.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang (R) meets with Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu in Beijing, China, January 11, 2024. /Xinhua

Chinese Premier Li Qiang (R) meets with Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu in Beijing, China, January 11, 2024. /Xinhua

China is willing to work with the Maldives to follow the important strategic guidance of the two heads of state, deepen political mutual trust, intensify friendly exchanges at all levels, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and constantly enrich the connotation of the China-Maldives comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, Li said.

China is ready to further synergize its development strategies with the Maldives, take high-quality Belt and Road cooperation as a guide and actively explore cooperation on industrial parks, the digital economy, marine fisheries, green and low-carbon development and other fields, said the premier.

He added that the two sides should further strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges in education, sports and tourism to cement popular support for China-Maldives friendship.

Muizzu noted that the visit to China is his first state visit since taking office, adding that the Maldives firmly adheres to the one-China policy, stands firmly with China and firmly supports the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China.

The Maldives appreciates China’s long-term support for its economic and social development and is willing to deepen cooperation with China in the fields of economy, trade, the digital economy, the blue economy and green development, and to strengthen cultural and people-to-people exchanges in areas such as tourism, achieving mutual benefit and common development, Muizzu said.

(With input from Xinhua)

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