Chinese tourism cooperation with Maldives will continue despite government change

 Wednesday, October 10, 2018 


foreign tourists visit MaldivesAn A380 airplane successfully took off from the newly constructed runway at the Maldives’ Velana International Airport on September 18, marking the completion of a Belt and Road initiative project.



The runway project was contracted by the China-based Beijing Urban Construction Group.



However, the result of the recent presidential election in the Maldives has cast some doubt on whether cooperative projects would continue smoothly, as some Western and Indian media outlets predicted that the Maldives’ incoming administration will adjust its diplomatic policy.




Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the election in late September and will be sworn in as Maldives’ next president on November 17.




The newly elected president has been widely viewed as pro-India, whereas the outgoing president Abdulla Yameen is closer to China. It conjectured that the win has geopolitical implications, with Solih promising to restore relations with India, and rely less on China, which has the wealth and willingness to fund the country’s development.



However, various voices from both the Maldivian government and the public told the Global Times that China-Maldives relations will not see a negative change despite the Maldives’ political shift.



An unnamed official with the outgoing Yameen administration told the Global Times that the opposition coalition led by Solih is pro-India, but Solih himself is moderate.




The official believes that the existing diplomatic policy made by the current administration will undoubtedly see some adjustment after Solih takes office, but Solih will not refuse trade or investment from China.




A senior official of the China-Maldives Cultural Association told  that the new Maldivian government will support Chinese enterprises to develop and invest in the country, because it conforms to the common aspiration of the two sides. The future is still full of hope, he said.




Geng Shuang, a spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at press conference on September 25 that China congratulates the Maldives’ smooth holding of the presidential election and Solih’s election as the president.

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