Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Energy News .

China's Xi touts 'maritime silk road' on South Asia tour
by Staff Writers
Male, Maldives (AFP) Sept 15, 2014

China's President Xi Jinping said he hoped the Maldives would help build a "21st century maritime silk road" as he began a South Asian tour in the strategically located Indian Ocean island chain on Monday.

Xi said he was eager to boost relations with the Maldives, which is best known for its tourist industry but also straddles major international shipping routes.

"Maldives was an important stop of the ancient maritime silk road," Xi wrote in an article published in the local Sun Online news portal late Sunday.

"China welcomes Maldives to get actively involved in building the 21st century maritime silk road by leveraging its own strength."

The "maritime silk road" -- touted by Xi during a visit to Indonesia last year -- is intended to revive a trade route running from China through Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean to Europe.

Xi will also visit close ally Sri Lanka as well as India this week on a tour set to focus on China's growing economic influence in the region.

He is due to hold talks with Maldives President Abdulla Yameen after an official welcome ceremony at the Republic Square in the capital island of Male on Monday.

It is the first visit by a leader from Beijing since the former British protectorate gained independence in 1965, but will be the second meeting between the two leaders in a matter of weeks, following their talks last month in the Chinese city of Nanjing.

"The focus will be on building what they discussed last month," a source close to Yameen's government told AFP. "The thrust of the talks will be on trade and aid rather than security."

The source said the Maldives was keen to avoid upsetting India by bringing up sensitive security issues as New Delhi considers the islands to be within its sphere of influence.

India has regarded China's growing influence among its neighbours with concern, leading new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prioritise regional relationships that critics say the previous government neglected.

Yameen is keen on securing China's funding for an ambitious project to build a road bridge between central Male island and nearby Hululle island, where the international airport is located.

"Two development projects in the Maldives that are funded by the Chinese government and implemented by Chinese corporations will also be launched jointly by the two presidents," Yameen's office said without giving further details.

- Growing militancy -

Chinese have become the largest single group of holidaymakers to visit the Maldives, a nation of 1,192 tiny coral islands scattered some 850 kilometres (530 miles) across the equator.

The Maldives received just over one million tourists last year and more than 30 per cent of them were Chinese. Tourism accounts for more than a quarter of the $2.3 billion economy.

"Known as 'a string of pearls that God left in the human world' and with its simple and warm-hearted people and picturesque scenery, Maldives is a magnet attracting tourists from around the world," said Xi, adding he was eager to experience the islands for himself.

But as well as being renowned for sandy beaches and turquoise waters, there is also some alarm that the Maldives has become a recruiting ground for jihadists.

The one-square mile capital island has seen a pro-jihadist demonstration earlier this month pressing for sharia law.

At least four nationals are said to have been killed while fighting in Syria this year.

Former president Mohamed Nasheed told Britain's Independent on Sunday paper at the weekend that up to 200 Maldivians were fighting for Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria. The entire population of the Maldives is only around 330,000 Sunni Muslims.

"Radical Islam is getting very, very strong in the Maldives," said Nasheed, who lost last November's run-off election to Yameen. "Their strength in the military and in the police is very significant."

Eight Chinese were among a group of foreign tourists injured in a bombing in Male in 2007 carried out by suspected Islamist militants.

Xi leaves the Maldives on Tuesday for Sri Lanka before heading on Wednesday to India, the regional super power. Prime Minister Modi has moved quickly to engage with China, inviting Xi to India soon after taking office in May.


Related Links
Global Trade News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

US judge fines HP $59 mn for bribing Russian officials
San Francisco (AFP) Sept 11, 2014
A judge on Thursday ordered US computer giant Hewlett-Packard to pay $58.8 million for bribing Moscow government officials to win a big-money contract with Russia's prosecutor general's office. Northern California US District Judge Lowell Jensen hit HP with the fine after the company pleaded guilty to violating anti-bribery and accounting provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the ... read more

IRENA: Outdated thinking curbing green energy momentum

Zimbabwe launches $500-mln power units to ease energy woes

Existing power plants will spew 300 billion more tons of carbon dioxide during use

Yale Journal Explores Advances In Sustainable Manufacturing

Scottish scientists make 'tremendously important' breakthrough in water to hydrogen production proce

Plugged-in to the future

First-ever look inside a working lithium-ion battery

Clean coal key to combating climate change: Rio Tinto

Wind Turbines Outperforming Expectations at Honda Transmission Plant

Stealth wind turbines to become operational in France in 2015

EU calls for study of 2020 renewable energy targets

Go green and prosper, British government says

SolarBOS Announces Solutions for String Inverters

Cree SiC MOSFETs Help Power Japan's Growing Solar Energy Infrastructure

Solar Capacity in Central America to Surge

X-ray imaging paves way for novel solar cell production

Japan newspaper apologises for false Fukushima report

Westinghouse Signs Agreements with China's SNPAS

Japan nuclear watchdog backs restart of two reactors

Japan's first female industry chief visits Fukushima plant

3D imaging may improve understanding of biofuel plant materials

Ethanol fireplaces: the underestimated risk

ACCESS II Confirms Jet Biofuel Burns Cleaner

Scientists create renewable fossil fuel alternative using bacteria

China to launch second space lab in 2016: official

China's Space Station is Still On Track

China launches remote sensing satellite

China launches two satellites via one rocket

ADB, World Bank and others back climate financing

Birth of a mineral

Carbon stored in soils more vulnerable to climate change than expected

UN climate chief says 'door closing' on warming fix

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.