The building of the Sino Malaysian friendship bridge Editors note: the brightest pearl in India ocean, paradise on earth... In the hearts of Chinese tourists, Maldives, a South Asian island, enjoys a good reputation. However, the country is much more important than a popular tourist destination: almost all trade routes to the India ocean are not open to the Gulf of Aden and the Malacca Strait. The superior strategic position has become the blessing of Maldives - it is not only an important node and a required place for Chinas twenty-first Century Maritime Silk Road, but also a little brother for hundreds of years in India, but sometimes it has also become a Curse - it may become a front once the dragon elephant is arguing. . In recent years, why is the relationship between the Malaysia and the Malaysia more compact? Is this conflict with Maldivess India first policy? On these issues, the Global Times reporter interviewed Mohamed, Feisal, Ambassador of Maldives in Beijing exclusively. Feisal once said, India is our brother. China is like our long lost cousin. How does Madame Maltese see China? The image of China is very good! Feisal: first of all, I believe, is a high degree of trust between the two countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China in 1972, the two countries have maintained cooperation in many fields in the past 45 years. In recent years, the most frequent reason is the frequent high-level visits between leaders of the two countries. Many important infrastructure cooperation agreement is in the (2014) signed during the visit of President Xi mardel, during President Ya Mings visit to China, the two countries signed a free trade agreement and the The Belt and Road historic memorandum of cooperation. The government of Maldives is very supportive of development. At the moment, we are striving for domestic economic transformation. In this regard, we need the help of many countries and partners. China has been very active and willing to help. I think this is the second reason. The last point is that the government of the two countries and the people of Malaysia and the people believe in a common idea, that is, win-win development, which is a vivid footnote to the development of our partnership. In fact, the two countries have been working on development projects that are mutually beneficial to both sides. From this point of view, Maldives appreciates a series of initiatives Chinese, especially the The Belt and Road, and China will help other developing countries. These are important for Maldives. After 40 years of reform and opening up, China has increasingly been able to help other developing countries. Global Times: in addition to the government level, how do ordinary people in your country view so many Chinese tourists coming here every year and the Chinese companies there? We know that some of the people in some countries are troubled by the influx of Chinese tourists, and Western media think that China has invested some small countries in debt crisis. Feisal: I think all Madame Madame love Chinese and Chinese, especially the practitioners in the tourism industry. Maldives has become a country of destination for a large number of Chinese tourists. Before and after 2008, our tourist products have been very European, which means that if Europe has a financial crisis or other problems, Maldives will suffer losses. It can be said that China has brought more stability to our tourism industry. On the other hand, Maldives is actively developing non luxury mid-range hotels. For this industry, China is a huge and important market. In the tourism industry, Madame Madame has been in touch with Chinese for quite a long time, and has had a very positive interaction. Nowadays, many Mas resorts have specially adjusted their service to meet Chinese guests, such as hiring Chinese chefs, opening Chinese restaurants, hiring Chinese translation, and even allowing the UnionPay to pay. Our tourism industry is increasingly able to accept these changes. In the field of engineering, after a series of infrastructure development projects opened in Maldives, we have seen the ability of Chinese enterprises, especially in the Sino Malaysian friendship bridge project, we see that the technology and equipment used by Chinese companies are all world-class. This is the first time that the Malaysia saw such a technology applied to its own country, and we admire the ability of Chinese enterprises to build large projects all over the world. Ma Dai is not worried about the so-called debt trap because we know what we are doing and we know what level of debt we should keep. I can say so that Chinas image in Maldives is very good. Even for the public, there is no fear that the Chinese will drown Maldives. Ordinary people know that they need to improve their standard of living, and that Maldives is a small country which can not develop by themselves. China plundering land? No one believes that statement. Global Times: some time ago, Maldivess political situation was in turmoil. How did the situation develop recently? Are Chinese tourists and Chinese projects affected? Feisal: so far, the political problems within our country have been resolved and everything has calmed down. However, because of an attempted coup in February, the governments investigation continued and prosecuted some persons involved in the court. In addition to the end of the process, there is no turbulence in Maldives, the situation is very stable, and there are no demonstrations on the streets. Personally, I think there is no need to delay the trip to Mali because of the security situation. Even when the coup took place in February, the protests in Mari street were not violent, and tourism and commerce were not affected. Of course, we appreciate the Chinese governments prudence and the idea of protecting its citizens. We appreciate and respect this. In addition, we have a lot of special protection measures for Chinese tourists, such as the Ministry of tourism and the Chinese Embassy are working together to reduce the incidence of Chinese tourists drowning. We also have many measures to protect Chinese people who are doing engineering projects in Maldives, and their safety is guaranteed. Global Times: in that wave, there were people saying that China plundered land in Maldives, and why the government sold the country to China, why would there be such a statement? How many people support this statement? Feisal: the Malaysian government has come forward to refute the statement of the former president resolutely. I think this remark is pure political speech because he himself can not give any evidence. I remember when he was speaking in India, a reporter asked him to explain what islands were plundered by the Chinese, and that one of the islands names could not be said. So this is a very irresponsible statement. Chinese enterprises do invest in Maldivess tourism industry. As I know, there are 7 islands in Maldives developed by Chinese companies, but we also have many island resorts developed by other countries, and India, Europe, the Middle East and Singapore have relevant interests in the tourism industry of the Malaysia. In fact, as long as the relevant procedures are completed, the corresponding taxes and rents are paid, anyone can lease the island in Malai. I dont think any of the Maltese ladies will believe it. The procedures for the lease of the islands are so open and transparent that people can learn who each island has rented through a variety of media. So people knew from the beginning that these words were not true. Global Times: the Maldives government is studying economic diversification rather than relying solely on tourism to support the economy. In the process, what kind of help do you expect from China? Feisal: in 2011, the United Nations approved Maldives to graduate from the list of least developed countries. It made us face some difficulties, for example, we could get financial aid from many countries, development banks or other multilateral channels. Now we have to use commercial loans and other financial instruments. Financing. In order to promote Maldivess economic restructuring and expand its sources of income, we need a large amount of financing to build ports, airports, public housing and manufacturing industries. So we look at the The Belt and Road Asian investment bank, and all kinds of funds under the framework of Chinese get financing to help. Maldives has a strategic geographical position, very close to the huge markets in South Asia and the Middle East, and will have the potential to become an economic and financial base for Chinese enterprises to go out of the future. India priority to China priority? - dont be afraid of Mas approach to China Global Times: when you first visited India in foreign countries, you reiterated the India first policy. What does Indias priority mean? Feisal: we do not have such a clearly defined policy. India priority is only based on the close relationship between us and India in the past. India is one of our closest neighbors. In the past, whenever we encountered problems or were in crisis, India was always the first to respond to us. When the Tamil terrorists attacked Maldives in 1988, we sought relief in India; in 2004, when Maldives was hit by a hurricane, India was the first to help us. We are very grateful to India, which is also the background and foundation for the India priority policy. Even today, when we encounter problems such as the disappearance of fishermen at sea, we will still ask the India navy to assist in search and rescue. However, all countries that respect the independence and integrity of Ma and meet the needs of the development of Ma Dynasty are open to cooperation with them. Maldives has always been a member of the non aligned movement. We do not believe in alliances. We believe in partnership only. In this sense, China is now one of the most closely related development partners, and that is why Maldives and China have signed the first bilateral free trade agreement. Apart from China and India, we have maintained close cooperation with many other countries. For us, neither partner nor friendship can be preset, and if the big stick is more than carrot, such a partnership will not be sustainable. That is why we appreciate the reason why President Xi put forward the idea of the community of human destiny. From these points of view, Maldives is a truly international citizen, and we are looking for a seat on the UN Security Council in June this year. We want to tell the world that even a small country can become a responsible international citizen. Global Times: however, India media believe that Maldivess diplomacy has shifted from India priority to China first. What do you think? Feisal: This is not a fact. As I have just said, Ma Yin has a long-term and stable connection. Even in culture, the two countries are very close. India films and music are very popular in maldo. As two countries, Ma Yin will continue to cooperate and support each other, no matter who is the leader of the country. I dont think the government and the media of India should be afraid of Maldivess proximity to China, for the reason that we are close to China today is the same as that we have been near India: we want these countries to help us and develop this country together. India and China can play a solid and active role in the transformation of Maldivess economic and social life. Global Times: in addition to the economy, what areas can you strengthen cooperation between China and Malaysia? Feisal: we can do more work in cultural and sports exchanges. This is what we lack in the past 45 years. The Embassy in Maldives is trying to do some activities to promote its culture and food in Beijing. In Maldives, we are offering Chinese courses in some universities and secondary schools. Last year, another class of students came to China to study Chinese. I heard that the Embassy in China is planning to build a Chinese cultural center. I think these initiatives are very important, because language can break barriers. Now Mrs. maldie will think of Jackie Chan and the Great Wall when she mentions China, but Chinese culture is much richer than these.