Chinese President Xi Jinping and Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Muizzu have signed 20 key agreements, marking the elevation of their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
The agreements encompass various sectors, including tourism cooperation, disaster risk reduction, blue economy, and investment in the digital economy,
As reported by The Hindu, the leaders affirmed their commitment to strengthening collaboration under the Belt and Road Initiative, along with initiatives such as social housing projects and fisheries product processing factories.
President Xi has also emphasised China's support for the Maldives in pursuing a development path aligned with its national conditions, emphasising respect for the Maldives' sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Meanwhile, the Maldivian President's visit is overshadowed by a diplomatic row with India, involving derogatory remarks against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Maldivian ministers and alleged attempts to spread disinformation during the 2023 presidential elections.
The European Union Election Observation Mission had also pointed to anti-India sentiments during the campaign.
Also, with barely a month after urging India to withdraw its military personnel from the Maldives, "Pro-China" President Mohamed Muizzu's government had taken a step further, deciding not to renew the hydrographic survey agreement with India.
However, President Muizzu's appeal for more Chinese tourists follows the suspension of ministers for derogatory social media posts and cancellations by Indian tourists.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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