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OSINF Report: Surge in China’s Assistance to Maldives in March

The month of March saw a surge of announcements by China aiding Maldives in multiple spheres from military agreement, ambulances to laboratory equipment. China sought participation of the Maldives in the Group of Friends of the GDI and is ready to work with the Maldives to accelerate implementation of the projects of GDI Project Pool to benefit the two peoples as per Chinese Ambassador to Maldives. The high point for agreements with China was the one to extend military assistance gratis on made on March 04.  Deputy Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China, Major General Zhang Baoqun and Minister of Defense Ghassan Maumoon signed on the agreement on behalf of the Chinese and Maldives governments, respectively during the visit of Major General Zhang on enhancing defense cooperation between the two countries.

Discussions were also held on enhancing defense cooperation as Major General Zhang Baoqun paid a courtesy call on Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu. The defence agreement came days prior to replacement of Indian military personnel in Maldives by civilians. In addition, a series of agreements and MOUs were signed during the month showing the Chinese push for expanding presence in Maldives at a rapid pace possibly keeping the parliamentary polls in mind so as to boost the ruling party. A summary of other assistance assured by China as indicated by Sunonline Maldives is as given below-

  1. 12 green ambulances donated to the Maldives on March 03, 2024. The handover ceremony held at the Ministry of Health housed in Roashanee Building was officiated by the First Lady Sajidha Mohamed.

  2. The eastern Chinese province of Shandong donated 10 civil vehicles to the Maldives. The donation was handed over by Chinese Ambassador Wang Lixin to the Maldives’ Local Government Minister Adam Shareef Umar

  3. Maldives and China signed a letter of exchange on a grant to procure laboratory equipment for health centers in 17 islands. The agreement was signed by Maldivian Health Minister Dr. Abdulla Khaleel and Chinese Ambassador Wang Lixin in a ceremony held at the Health Ministry headquarters in Male’.

  4. Housing Development Corporation (HDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) to develop infrastructure in Hulhumale’ Phase III. The agreement, which HDC said would bring in a “new era of development” was signed on Tuesday. According to HDC, the MOU will redefine infrastructure in Hulhumale’ with state-of-the art developments.

  5. China Tianying Inc. (CNTY) signed a memorandum of understanding with the Maldives government to assist in the advancement of renewable energy initiatives. The Ministry of Climate Change, Environment and Energy, said that under the agreement, the Chinese company will assist in the development of a renewable energy source produced from waste materials. Minister of Climate Change, Environment and EneryThoriq Ibrahim signed the agreement on behalf of the Maldives government while the President CNTY, De Biao Cao signed on behalf of the company.

  6. Ministry of Construction and Infrastructure states desalination plants that will operate on renewable energy have been established at five islands with grant assistance from the Chinese government. The desalination plants were established at R. Alifushi, Lh. Olhuvelifushi, HA. Kelaa, GA. Dhaandhoo and K. Kaashidhoo.

  7. China has signed a three-year extension on free maintenance works on the Sinamale’ Bridge in the Maldivian capital. The implementation agreement on the bridge maintenance works was signed by Infrastructure Minister Dr. Abdulla Muthalib and Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Wang Lixin.

  8. Fenaka Corporation has partnered with China's Yantai Dongfang Wisdom Electric Co Limited (Wisdom) to enhance the utility services.

  9. The China Communications Construction Company (CCC) Second Harbor Engineering Company (SHEC) has initiated maintenance works on the Sinamale’ Bridge in the Maldivian capital. The implementation agreement was signed on March 20, accommodating a three-year extension on free maintenance works on the Sinamale’ Bridge.

[Note: Details as published in Sunonline, Maldives online media outlet]

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