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  4. Maldives President Muizzu meets Xi Jinping amid strained relations with India I WATCH

Maldives President Muizzu meets Xi Jinping amid strained relations with India I WATCH

Muizzu, who is currently on a five-day visit to China, was accorded a red carpet welcome and a 21-gun salute after reaching the airport.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Beijing Updated on: January 10, 2024 18:58 IST
Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady of China officially welcome Maldives President Muizzu an
Image Source : @PRESIDENCYMV/X Chinese President Xi Jinping and First Lady of China officially welcome Maldives President Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Mohamed

Amid ongoing diplomatic tensions with India, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu met his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, in the national capital on Wednesday. Muizzu, who is currently on a five-day visit to China, was accorded a red carpet welcome and a 21-gun salute after reaching the airport. His crucial visit, although it was scheduled, came nearly two days after a major row erupted following Muizzu's junior ministers's contentious remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his recent visit to Lakshadweep. 

Meanwhile, multiple local media reported that Xi and Muizzu held talks, but they did not share considerable details about the discussion.

"During the ceremony, President Dr Muizzu was greeted by and introduced to the Chinese dignitaries, followed by the Maldivian dignitaries introduction to President Xi Jinping. President Dr Muizzu’s state visit will include official talks between the Governments of the Maldives and China and the signing a number of key agreements to enhance collaboration and strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries," according to the statement released by Maldives President's Office.

Besides talks with Xi, Muizzu is expected to meet Chinese Premier Li Qiang and other senior officials before his return to Male on January 12.

21 agreements signed 

The two countries signed 20 key agreements and elevated their bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. According to news agency, Xinhua, the two heads of state announced the elevation of bilateral ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership.

"20 key agreements were signed today between the Government of the Maldives and the Government of China this afternoon and both the Presidents witnessed the signing ceremony," Maldivian President's office said in a post on X.

Muizzu urges China to send more tourists 

Earlier on Tuesday, while addressing the Invest Maldives Summit in Fujian, Muizzu urged Chinese tourists to visit Male in more numbers. His statement was seen as a counterbalance with Indian tourists who are currently following the boycotting trend after the contentious remarks passed by three of the ministers.

Notably, until COVID-19, the Chinese accounted for most tourists football in the island nation but following the pandemic, Beijing's crawling economy did not maintain the same trend. The number one spot was replaced by India and since then maintained the tourist flow. However, following the diplomatic tension, hundreds of flights got cancelled amid anti-Maldives sentiments.

Also Read: Maldives travel body extends 'sincere apology' to India amid flurry of hotel and flights cancellations

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