Maldives inks key deals with China
Tags: International News
Maldives and China on 8th January 2022 signed key bilateral agreements during Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit, on developing and maintaining infrastructure in the Indian Ocean archipelago, besides agreeing on a visa-free travel arrangement for Maldivians intending to travel to China.
Highlights of his visit:
- Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid and his Chinese counterpart unveiled a special official logo to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the countries.
- The visa-waiver agreement between the two countries would allow Maldivians to travel to China on a 30-day visa free basis once the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
- The two governments signed an agreement of ‘Economic and Technical Cooperation’ on grant aid, focusing on social, livelihood, and infrastructure projects.
- The Government of Maldives signed a ‘Letter of Exchange’ on a ‘Feasibility Study of Management and Maintenance of China-Maldives Friendship Bridge’, for Chinese assistance in maintaining the 1.4-km bridge connecting capital Male with the island of Hulhumale.
- The bridge is considered China’s flagship project in the Maldives. Male owes Beijing about $1.4 billion from past loans, which President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s government has sought to “restructure”.
- China also agreed to back a sea-water desalination project and cooperate in the health sector
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