Chinese and Maldives government on 2 December 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a preliminary study of a proposed bridge connecting the international airport to Maldives capital Male.
The MoU was signed by the Maldives Housing Minister Mohamed Muiz on behalf of the Maldivian government and the Chinese Principal of the Economic and Commercial Councilors Office Yung Vunzeong on behalf of the Chinese government.
The current research programs on building the bridge as well as future feasibility assessments and design work fall under the mandate of the MoU.
The preliminary study will be followed by a project feasibility study. Afterwards, a design plan will be determined and the two governments will explore options to finance the project.
The project underscores a deepening engagement between China and Maldives, which will help in the establishment of the 21st century Maritime Silk Route visualised by China.
The construction of a bridge was first announced during former Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's reelection campaign in 2008.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed also pledged to link Maldives to its suburb islands Hulhumal, Hulhul, Villingili and Gulhifalhu via a bridge.
A 2011 feasibility study carried out by Ove Arup and Partners Hong Kong explored three options to link Maldives and Hulhul through Funadhoo Island on the north, or through two different paths on the southeastern side of Maldives over the surf point to the edge of the runway on Hulhul.
When: 2 December 2014