Countries share dream of new Silk Road for the 21st century
Updated: 2014-09-15 06:53
By Xinhua in Male(China Daily)
The renowned ancient Chinese navigator Zheng He's fleet visited the Maldives twice in the early 15th century, according to historical records. Ancient Chinese porcelain ware and coins, displayed in the Maldives' national museum in Male, bear witness to the trade via the ancient Maritime Silk Road between China and the Maldives.
Nearly 600 years later, with the introduction of the new vision of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, China and the Maldives are presented with a great opportunity to comprehensively deepen relations, expand cooperation and cement the connections between the two countries.
China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, which President Xi Jinping brought up during a visit to Southeast Asia last year, has gained a positive response and much attention from the Maldives, China's ambassador to the Maldives, Wang Fukang, said in a recent interview.
In 2013, two-way trade between China and the Maldives reached $98 million, marking a 70-fold increase from 2010. While more Chinese products are now on the market in the Maldives, marine products from the Maldives, such as tuna, are appearing on more and more dinner tables in China.
The construction of infrastructure is a highlight of the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. The Maldives' foreign ministry building and its national museum, which were both built with help from China, have become the new landmarks of the capital.
The Maldivian government has put forward a series of major measures recently, including the construction of a cross-sea bridge linking capital Male with the nearby Hulhule island and the establishment of a special economic zone in the north, which are all closely related to the construction of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
(China Daily USA 09/15/2014 page4)