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China, Maldives eye stronger partnership with all-round cooperation
China and Maldives are looking forward to carrying out fruitful cooperation in a variety of spheres as the two countries have pledged to set up an even closer partnership.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping's just-concluded visit to Maldives, the two sides agreed to build a future-oriented all-round friendly and cooperative partnership, in an effort to upgrade bilateral ties and promote the well-being of the two peoples, as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
When meeting on Monday with his Maldivian counterpart, Abdulla Yameen, Xi said there is not any problem in China-Maldives relations, and the two nations share the common willingness of cementing friendship and enhancing cooperation.
It is the second meeting within a month between the two leaders. On Aug. 16, they met in Nanjing, capital of China's Jiangsu Province, before attending the opening ceremony of the second Summer Youth Olympic Games.
Xi said he hopes that his Male visit will help boost cooperation between the two countries, especially on building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
Yameen reiterated Maldives' support for China's proposal of constructing the Maritime Silk Road of the new era, adding that the island country is prepared to actively participate in relevant cooperation.
The two presidents agreed to set up a Joint Committee of Economic and Trade Cooperation and hold its inaugural meeting within the year to plan bilateral practical cooperation in different fields and promote the sustainable development of China-Maldives economic relations.
Xi promised that Beijing will continue its assistance for Maldives, and encourage Chinese companies to invest in the country. The Chinese government will also favorably consider helping finance the Male-Hulhule bridge project, he said.
The two presidents hailed the rapid growth of bilateral tourism cooperation, saying it has strengthened the understanding of the two peoples.
Xi said China will continue to encourage its citizens to travel to Maldives and encourage Chinese enterprises to invest in Maldives' tourism industry, while Yameen pledged that his country will improve tourism services and fully ensure the safety of Chinese tourists.
The two sides, meanwhile, agreed to establish a joint meeting mechanism to deal with the issue of safety of Chinese tourists in Maldives.
They also pledged to further enhance exchanges and cooperation in the fields of defense, technology, culture, education, human resources training and health.
Xi said China will provide Maldives with more scholarships for Maldivian students to study in China and provide assistance for Maldivians learning the Chinese language.
The two sides also agreed to further strengthen coordination and cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral fora, and enhance cooperation on global issues including climate change.
China is ready to help Maldives with material resources, personnel training and green technology to deal with climate change, Xi said, adding that Beijing welcomes Maldives' important role on issues of significance to small states, and will continue coordinating with Maldives on those issues in the international arena.
Speaking highly of China's long-standing assistance for Maldives' social and economic development, the Maldivian president said his country regards China as the most reliable friend and the Maldives-China relationship has become a good example of equality, mutual respect, friendship and reciprocal cooperation between countries of different sizes.
He expressed Maldives's willingness to strengthen cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and hailed China's contribution to the development of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.
Besides, the two presidents witnessed the signing of a number of deals involving cooperation on diplomacy, trade and infrastructure construction, and inaugurated the construction of the Laamu Atoll Link Road and a housing unit project.
Also on Monday, Xi told Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed, speaker of the People's Majlis, the unicameral legislative body of Maldives, that he hopes the legislatures of China and Maldives will increase interaction and play a positive role in enhancing bilateral ties.
Maseeh said China understands what Maldives really needs on the path of development, and has been pushing ahead with some major projects and provided the island country with invaluable support and assistance.
Lauding China as a faithful friend and reliable partner, Maseeh said Maldives will learn from China's development experience and boost cooperation with China.
Maseeh said the Maldivian People's Majlis is willing to maintain friendly exchanges with the Chinese National People's Congress to contribute to the bilateral relationship.
  Source: Xinhuanet

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