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Maldives President appeals to China after dispute with India on tourism

Image Source : REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE (AP)
Maldives President Mohammed Moizzu

After the controversy over the derogatory remarks of Maldivian ministers against PM Modi, Maldives has now appealed to China for help. On Tuesday, Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu urged China to intensify efforts to send more tourists to his country. Let us tell you that after the diplomatic controversy over the objectionable remarks of Maldivian ministers against Prime Minister Modi, Indian tourists have canceled about 8000 bookings of Maldives. Let us tell you that Maldives President Mohammad Muizzu is on a visit to China these days.

China is on a 5-day visit

On the second day of his five-day official visit to China, Muizzu, while addressing the ‘Maldives Business Forum’ in Fujian province on Tuesday, described China as the island nation’s “closest ally”. The Maldivian President said, “China is one of our closest allies and development partners.” During his address, he praised the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) project launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2014 and said that he (Xi Jinping) delivered the most important infrastructure project seen in the history of Maldives. Muizzu urged China to send a large number of tourists to Maldives.

Signed on a project worth 5 crore dollars

According to a statement shared on Muizzu’s official website, “Before COVID, Chinese tourists used to visit our country in large numbers, and that is why I request China to step up efforts to regain this situation.” At the same time, it was reported in the media of Maldives that both the countries have signed a project worth 50 million dollars to develop an integrated tourism sector in the Indian Ocean island.

Most tourists from India

Muizzu’s appeal to Chinese tourists comes amid a diplomatic row after some Maldivian ministers made derogatory comments against Prime Minister Modi after he shared a video of himself at a pristine beach in Lakshadweep during his recent visit. After this, Muizzu’s government has suspended three deputy ministers for derogatory posts against Modi on social media. According to data released earlier by the Ministry of Tourism of Maldives, India remains the largest tourist market for the country in the year 2023. Last year, the maximum number of 2,09,198 Indian tourists arrived in Maldives, followed by 2,09,146 Russian tourists and 1,87,118 Chinese tourists.

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