Male, June 17 (IANS) A top Maldivian official has said that the island nation and China have always enjoyed a healthy, mutually beneficial relationship, which has reached to a historic level over the past few years.
"In the future, with sky being the limit, infinite possibilities lie in the cooperation between the two countries," Vice President of Maldives China Trade and Cultural Organization (MCTCO) Midhuam Saud told Xinhua news agency.
Midhuam said the Maldives is cooperating with China in a wide range of platforms, from co-building the multi-national Belt and Road Initiative, to joining China-proposed financial institutes like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, to several culture exchange programmes.
The cooperation between the Maldives and China has yielded fruitful results and indeed brought benefits to the Maldivians, said the top official.
"For instance, the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge is realised under the Belt and Road Initiative; the ambitious social housing project in the Maldives' Hulhumale island is realised under Chinese finance. And over 300 Maldivian civil servants went to China for professional training last year alone.
"In addition to the Chinese government scholarships, China Maldives Cultural Association and MCTCO, both registered NGOs in the Maldives, are now working closely with the Chinese side in promoting all kinds of exchange programs to strengthen people to people relationships," Midhuam said.
The Maldives is a young country, with the median age less than 30 years old.
By quoting legendary US political activist Malcolm X's saying "the future belongs to those who prepare for it today", Midhuam called on the youths in the Maldives to be ready for the opportunities brought from the cooperation with China.
"Economically, 35 per cent of the world growth from 2017 to 2019 will come from China according to statistics; environmentally, China has promised to achieve blue skies in all major cities, and China is already equipped with state-of-the-art solar energy technology now. The rise of China is dominating the world picture today.
"It is necessary that our youths understand the opportunities they get today through the Maldives, China cooperation will help them to be well prepared for tomorrow. The future does belong to those who prepare for it today," Midhuam added.