The Chinese government has reportedly applauded the Maldives for its continued cooperation ‘under the framework’ of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Chinese state-run newspaper has reported.
The Xinhua News Agency’s online website cited Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying as having said that the Maldives ‘promotes cooperation and mutual respect’ between the two nations.
“China and the Maldives have promoted cooperation on the construction of bridges, airports, housing and other projects related to people's livelihoods based on mutual respect and equal treatment, which has played a positive role in promoting the economic transformation and upgrading of the Maldives and improving people's living conditions” Chunying is reported to have said.
Chunying’s comments are in reference to a recent interview Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid gave to Xinhua.
In this interview, Shahid said that the ‘new government under President Ibrahim Solih will continue with the projects initiated in the Maldives under the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative’.
Shahid had also commented on the strong ties between Maldives and China, particular in education with many Maldivian students studying at universities in China.
In the interview, Minister Shahid described China as being a ‘generous friend’ and expressed his hope for further cooperation with China.