'Relations between Maldives, China exist between its peoples'

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has stated that the Chinese government has assured that the relations between China and Maldives existed between its people, and pledged their continued support for Maldives' socio-economic development.

Speaking to state media PSM during his official visit to China, Minister Shahid said extensive discussions were held during the visit on ways to strengthen the bilateral relations between both countries.

Foreign Minister Shahid met with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, during which Minister Wang had assured continued support to the socio-economic development of Maldives.

"The Chinese FM has assured that the relations between Maldives and China exists between the people of both countries. He assured Chinese aid despite any government that may be in power", said Shahid.

Prior to departing to the United States for the UN General Assembly, Minister Shahid said he is hopeful that more lenient visa arrangements will be facilitated for Maldivians traveling to China.

Two Memorandum of Understanding and one agreement were signed during the FM's visit to China, which included agreements on strengthening cooperation between both counties, sports cooperation and technical assistance. An agreement on the construction of an international standard football stadium in reclaimed suburbs Hulhumale' was also signed during the visit.

While the previous government borrowed several large loans from China, the state currently owes over US$ 1.5 billion to China. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has previously stated that the terms of the agreements included high interest rates and were unfavorable to the Maldives.