President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Friday spoke to the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, over the telephone, and discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other matters of mutual interest.
President Solih congratulated the Chinese President and the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the CPC's centenary on July 1st. He stated that, under the strong leadership of President Xi, the CPC has evolved into a voice for equality, prosperity, and increased international cooperation.
President Solih noted the important role played by China towards global efforts to handle the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed his gratitude to President Xi and the Chinese Government for the generous contribution of 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives in March.
Highlighting that the next year marks 50 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries, President Solih underscored that China has been one of the most significant development partners of the Maldives over the years. Speaking about some of the recent projects undertaken with assistance from China, the President stressed that the Administration is keen on continuing cooperation on such projects. He also expressed eagerness to work closely with the new Ambassador of China to the Maldives to enhance the ties between the two countries.
Reflecting on the close cooperation that exists between the Maldives and China, President Xi Jinping expressed interest in further exploring the existing partnership. He conveyed hopes for colorful celebrations of the 50th anniversary of formal diplomatic ties in the coming year.
President Xi noted that the Government of China will be granting additional doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to the Maldives at the earliest. He highlighted that the Government of China is happy to support the Maldives under the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI), and expressed hope that this initiative would help the Maldives better focus on COVID-19 recovery efforts.
President Xi further expressed interest to work together with the Maldives in regard to sports training and elevating tourism cooperation to increase the number of Chinese tourist arrivals to the Maldives. He also offered warm congratulations on the recent election of Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid as the 76th President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Concluding the call, the two leaders wished each other well and expressed their commitment to continue the bilateral relationship on a positive trajectory.