Foreign Minister of the Maldives Abdulla Shahid said he expects to attend the opening ceremony of the upcoming Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics and that he is confident the event will be a complete success.
Shahid, who was elected president of the 76th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in June, made the remarks on Saturday in talks with visiting State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Male.
Wang welcomed Shahid attending the Beijing Games in his capacity as General Assembly president.
During their talks, the two foreign ministers agreed to strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation and communication, jointly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, oppose interference in the domestic affairs of other countries and safeguard international fairness and justice.
They witnessed the signing of an array of agreements on bilateral cooperation including the right to visit each other's countries without first obtaining a visa. Under this agreement, Chinese and Maldivian citizens will be entitled to a 30-day visa upon arrival in the other country. The Maldives is a very popular tourist destination for Chinese people.
Other agreements involve the countries collaborating in the fields of economy, infrastructure and health and cooperating on a microgrid seawater desalination plant.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the Maldives.
Wang said during the talks that, over the past five decades, the two countries have been respectful of each other, have treated each other as equals, supported each other on issues related to their core interests and major concerns and have set an example of country-to-country friendly exchanges for win-win results.
He urged both countries to continue to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with efforts to advance the key infrastructure and housing projects.
Shahid commended the Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries, which, he said, has benefited the well-being of the people of the Maldives and resulted in dramatic social changes in the country.
He thanked China for the medical supplies and vaccines it provided to the Maldives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and said China's assistance has played a key role in ensuring the country's coronavirus vaccination rate stands at 80 percent.
The Maldives wants to intensify pragmatic cooperation with China, he said.
Also on Saturday, Wang met with President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in Male.