Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said the Maldives and China have enjoyed a long friendship based on mutual respect and admiration.

Speaking at the special function hosted by Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Yang Xiuping to mark the 60th anniversary of the Founding of People’s Republic of China, Dr Waheed said the friendship between the Maldives and China dated back to 15th century.

He noted that Chinese porcelain that date back to 15th and 16th centuries were in abundance in many parts of the Maldives. Therefore, he said it was very appropriate that the Chinese government was building the first modern museum in this country.

Speaking on the recent bilateral relations between the Maldives and China, Dr Waheed said since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations in 1972, the relationship between the two countries have expanded to cover trade, tourism and education and culture.

Furthermore, he said the inauguration of direct flights from Beijing to Male is a historical milestone, which would strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Noting China’s contribution to the socio-economic development of Maldives, Dr Waheed thanked the government of China, and said he hoped the Maldives China relationship would soon broaden into foreign direct investments and joint venture partnerships.

Speaking at the function, the Vice President extended greetings of the 60th anniversary of the Founding of the People’s Republic of China to the people and the government of China.