Male’, Maldives — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China has concluded the 7th Round of Bilateral Consultations via a virtual meeting.
The 7th Round of Bilateral Consultations focused on enhancing cooperation between Maldives and China on mutual areas of interest, and on topics relating the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 global pandemic, economic recovery, debt service suspension, and resumption of tourism and international travel between the two countries.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmed Khaleel spoke on behalf of Maldives and reiterated and reaffirmed the Government of Maldives’ unwavering commitment to the One-China Policy. He expressed the island nations gratitude towards the Chinese Government and Chinese enterprises for their assistance and generosity they had extended during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Khaleel noted that restarting the international travel and tourism relationship between Maldives and China is one of the priority of the island nation. He stated that extensive discussions will be held with all stakeholders involved to discuss about the preparation for the re-opening of borders in China in the near future.
The Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Lou Zhaohui reassured that all ongoing projects will continue and that new areas of cooperation between the two sides could be explored.
Mr. Lou Zhaohui noted that the country seeks to expand the existing ties and to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Maldives and China. He said that China appreciates the support it has received from the Maldives at the international level, and considers the Maldives to be a friend, and an important partner.
Mr. Lou Zhaohui stated that both countries have set an example of mutual benefit and win-win results and equality between big and small countries. He said that these countries need to make continuous efforts to push forward their bilateral relations by:
- Deepening the anti-pandemic cooperation by carrying out vaccine cooperation and enhancing cooperation in the fields of non-traditional security, such as poverty alleviation, food security and public health.
- Supporting economic recovery by facilitating the resumption of work and production of B&R cooperation projects, promoting the early entry into force of FTA, and exploring the resumption of tourism cooperation after the pandemic.
- Expanding the fields of bilateral cooperation and enhance exchanges and cooperation in culture, youth, education, healthcare, agriculture and the ocean.
- Strengthening the multilateral coordination and co-op, carry forward the tradition of mutual support on multilateral occasions, uphold multilateralism, and maintain communication and cooperation on climate change and other issues of common concern.
The 6th Round of Bilateral Consultations between Maldives and China took place in 2017 and since then, the 7th Bilateral Consultations took place virtually on Tuesday, after almost four years of the last meeting.
The two countries also spoke about preparing for the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Maldives and China which is set to occur in 2022.