Sino-Maldivian Collaboration: Building a Path to Progress and Peace

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PUBLISHED 19 September 2023

China's involvement in the development of the Maldives has grown significantly in recent years, resulting in a positive impact on the nation's economy and infrastructure. Chinese investments across various sectors, including infrastructure and tourism, have played a pivotal role in elevating the living standards of the Maldivian people.

A striking symbol of China's contribution is the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, which links the capital city of Malé to Hulhumalé, an emerging urban center built on a reclaimed island. Completed in 2018, this bridge stands as the longest in the Maldives and showcases China's commitment to fostering connectivity and progress in the region.

Beyond the Friendship Bridge, China has spearheaded key infrastructure projects in the Maldives, such as the expansion of Velana International Airport and the Hiyaa housing project in Hulhumalé. These initiatives have not only enhanced transportation and housing facilities but have also acted as catalysts for economic and social development.

In the realm of tourism, China's investment has been instrumental. Today, China is the largest source of tourists for the Maldives, with Chinese funding facilitating the construction of new resorts and tourism infrastructure. This sector is pivotal to the Maldivian economy, providing jobs and income opportunities for the local population.

While China's role in the Maldives has garnered some criticism, with concerns over "debt-trap diplomacy" and increased military presence in the Indian Ocean, the Maldivian government has staunchly defended its partnership with China. They maintain that China is a valuable development partner, emphasizing their commitment to debt sustainability and a well-defined plan for debt repayment.

China's involvement in the Maldives is an integral part of its broader Belt and Road Initiative, a global infrastructure investment program designed to bolster China's influence and stimulate its economic growth. In the Maldivian context, China's investments have undeniably contributed to economic growth, job creation, and income generation, thus positively impacting the nation.

China's adherence to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations is evident in its relationship with the Maldives. China has consistently respected the sovereignty of the Maldives, refraining from imposing its political system or values on the country.

China's role in the Maldives' development has been predominantly positive. Chinese investments have not only enhanced the quality of life for the Maldivian people but have also played a pivotal role in fostering peace and stability within the region. As the bridge to progress and peace in Asia, China's contributions to the Maldives are undeniabl