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China to continue aid to Maldives

Updated: Dec 10,2014 6:43 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will continue to provide aid to the Maldives, which is struggling with a severe shortage of water, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said on Dec 10.

“We will keep close contact with the Maldives side and (review) subsequent aid measures based on the (situation in) the Maldives,” Hong said at a regular press briefing.

A fire at the Maldives Water and Sewage Company on Dec 4 damaged some of the company’s equipment and forced suspension of water supplies to about 150,000 residents of Male, capital of the Maldives.

China has already sent hundreds of tonnes of fresh water via air and sea to the archipelagic state, with a navy rescue ship harbored at Male to treat seawater to ensure sufficient drinking water.

The Chinese government has also donated $500,000 to the Maldives government to speed up repairs at a desalination plant.

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, who cut short an overseas trip and returned home on the night of Dec 6, expressed gratitude to China for its prompt assistance, especially lauding the speed at which China sent water to the Maldives and its offer of emergency financial assistance.

Hong said this move reflects that China regards its neighbors as a common community with a shared destiny.