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Chart of the Day: China-Maldives economic cooperation


President of the Republic of Maldives Mohamed Muizzu will pay a state visit to China from Monday to Friday.

China's relationship with the Maldives now stands at a new starting point, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, adding that he believes that through the visit, the two heads of state will provide strategic guidance for bilateral relations to reach new heights.

Topics such as trade, infrastructure construction and tourism are expected to feature high on the agenda during the visit, said Lin Minwang, deputy director of the Center for South Asian Studies at Fudan University.

Chart of the Day: China-Maldives economic cooperation

China and the Maldives have enjoyed a steadily growing trade relationship in recent years. In 2022, trade volume between China and the Maldives touched $451.35 million, up 10.1 percent year on year. China primarily imports seafood and fishery products from the Maldives, while it exports machinery and construction materials to the island nation.

China has played a pivotal role in infrastructure development in the Maldives, particularly through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Several major projects have been launched, including the construction of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, an international airport expansion, and various housing projects.

Regarded as a landmark project of the BRI, the 2-km-long China-Maldives Friendship Bridge is the country's first cross-sea bridge, connecting the capital Male and the neighboring island of Hulhumale. President Muizzu has called it the most iconic and transformational project in his country.

Tourism is the lifeblood of the Maldivian economy, and China had been the largest source of foreign tourists to the Maldives for 10 years before the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of Chinese tourists reached 284,000 in 2019, accounting for 16.7 percent of the total number of foreign tourists in the country. The two countries issued a mutual visa-free policy in February.

Data editor: Zhao Hong

Graphics designer: Liu Shaozhen

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