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China and Maldives sign FTA

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-08 07:13
President Xi Jinping and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen review an honor guard before their talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. The two also witnessed a dozen documents being signed. LIU WEIBING/XINHUA

China and the Maldives signed 12 documents, including a free trade agreement, to boost cooperation in such areas as economy, health, infrastructure and finance on Thursday.

The agreements and memorandums of understandings were signed as President Xi Jinping and visiting Maldives President Abdulla Yameen witnessed while at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

According to the documents, the two countries will enhance cooperation on jointly developing the Belt and Road Initiative.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is similar to Maldives' strategy of achieving economic progress by making use of its geographic advantages, Xi told Yameen, while expressing appreciation for the Maldives' proactive participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"China deems the Maldives as an important partner to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road," Xi said.

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