The Maldives and China will hold a director-general level bilateral consultation on Thursday where the two nations would discuss, post-pandemic economic recovery, tourism among other issues to enhance the bilateral cooperation
The Maldives and China will hold a director-general level bilateral consultation on Thursday where the two nations would discuss, post-pandemic economic recovery, tourism among other issues to enhance the bilateral cooperation.
The Maldivian delegation would be headed by Ameen Javed Faizal, additional secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While Chen Song, deputy director-general for the Asian affairs in the Chinese foreign ministry, would lead the Chinese delegation on Thursday meeting, informed the Maldives foreign ministry in a statement.
“The meeting aims to enhance bilateral coordination between the two countries on mutual areas of cooperation and will touch upon topics relating to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic, economic recovery, including tourism cooperation and international travel,” reads a statement released by the Maldives’ foreign ministry.
The statement didn’t mention the issue of restructuring of Chinese debts that the Maldives had taken in the past, and are now finding it to repay in the post-COVID-19 economic scenario. The Maldives economy faced a major blow due to disruption in the global travel industry.
Recently, the Maldives’ speaker Mohammad Nasheed also asked his government to discuss the restructuring of the Chinese debt as the country would not able to pay its dues in 2021.
As the Maldives looks forward to economic recovery, the statement says, the country would continue its “bilateral dialogue with its developmental partners.”
“It (the Maldives) seeks to add momentum to its economic recovery efforts, especially on the resumption of tourism where China was the largest market prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Maldives,” read the statement.
The statement further noted the fact that China was among the first countries to offer its generous assistance to the Maldives relief efforts.
The Indian Ocean archipelago walks a tight rope when it comes to relations with its two Asian giants, India and China. Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla recently visited the Maldives and announced a slew of infrastructural projects, including high impact community development projects in the country.
China has expanded its footprints in the Maldives during the tenure of former President Abdullah Yameen. But that sudden rise came at the cost of its relationship with India.