Friendship Across Mountains and Sea: Celebrations of the 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between China and Maldives
On October 12, “Friendship Across Mountains and Sea” events celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Maldives were unveiled in Malé, Maldives. A series of events, including a photo exhibition, a video promotion event, and a culture week, were launched in Yunnan Province of China and in Maldives at the same time to celebrate the anniversary and long-lasting friendship between the peoples.
Consisting of a group of islands which are spread across the Indian Ocean like beautiful pearls, Maldives is a nation with rich marine resources. In 1972, China and Maldives formally established diplomatic relations. Yunnan, the Chinese province closest to Maldives, features lofty mountains and deep valleys, and is known as the “Kingdom of Animals and Plants”. Through this series of events, Yunnan and Maldives will be commemorating their friendship that has endured despite their geographic distance and difference.
The commemorative events will last for a week. Among them, “Magnificent Mountains and Rivers, Diverse Yunnan” Photo Exhibition, “Friendship Across Mountains and Sea” Video Promotion, and “Beautiful China, Colorful Yunnan” Culture Week were launched simultaneously in Maldives on October 12. “Wonderful Maldives, the Sunny Side of Life” Picture Exhibition were held in Lijiang, Yunnan at the same time.
Ambassador of China to Maldives Wang Lixin attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech. According to Mme. Wang, over the past 50 years, China and Maldives have respected one another, treated one another as equals, and always stood in solidarity and mutual support. They have set a prime example for nations with different systems and cultures to interact in a friendly and win-win manner. She noted, friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial collaboration between Chinese provinces (municipalities) and Maldives, as an important part of the relations between the two countries, will help enrich the bilateral relations and enhance understanding and friendship between the peoples.
“I’ve had the privilege of making numerous trips to the beautiful city of Kunming in Yunnan Province. This city has seen tremendous changes. The idea of green growth is ingrained in the minds of citizens,” said Aishath Azeema, Ambassador of Maldives to China in a video speech. She further noted that in the past 50 years, relations between China and Maldives have continued to make progress, and fruitful cooperation has taken place in a number of areas, benefiting both peoples. The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, which Chinese helped to build, bears testament to the close friendship between the two countries. She warmly welcomed Chinese tourists to explore the stunning beaches in Maldives.
Wang Hao, Vice Governor of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province, said in a video speech that Yunnan, the Chinese province closest to Maldives, has been actively engaged in friendly exchanges and cooperation with Maldives in various fields. A working group for cooperation between Yunnan Province and the Ministry of Economic Development of Maldives has been established to increase collaboration in economy, trade, tourism, education, infrastructure, and other areas. Trade between Yunnan and Maldives reached US$5.15 million in 2021, an increase of 189% year-on-year.
Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism of Maldives, attended the event and delivered a speech. He noted that China is one of the largest source countries of tourists to Maldives. In recent years, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Maldives has been on the rise, and a sharp increase is expected after the pandemic. Yunnan is also a famous tourist destination. He believed visitors today will gain a better understanding of the diversity of Yunnan through pictures, videos and intangible cultural heritage, and there will be more opportunities for cooperation between Yunnan and Maldives in the future.
The events are hosted by the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province and the Chinese Embassy in Maldives, and organized by the Yunnan Branch of China News Service, the Yunnan Commercial Representative Office in Maldives (Malé), and LUX* Resorts & Hotels.