The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge invited local students on May 4 to have a look at the bridge on its opening day.
At the bridge construction site in Maldives, Wang Lei, vice-director of the technology group, introduces the structure to Maldives students. [Photo/Xinhua]
Construction of an important Belt and Road cooperation project, the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge, started in early 2016.
The first bridge in the history of Maldives and the first sea-crossing bridge in the Indian Ocean, the Bridge connects Male, the capital of Maldives, and the airport island. It is composed of the bridge, reclamation embankments and roads, and is expected to have a service life of 100 years.
After more than two years' construction, hundreds of local students took part in the bridge’s opening day to experience the charm of stepping onto the first bridge in Maldives.
Yang Yin, a temporary agent of the Chinese Embassy in Maldives, said that activities such as the bridge opening day are meant to enable locals to better understand the meaning of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Students who attend the bridge opening day speak simple Chinese because their school had provided Chinese classes for grades four to seven since 2016.
"Although I can recite some Tang Dynasty poems, I do not entirely understand it. I hope I can have the opportunity to go to China in the future. Therefore, my Chinese will certainly be better to understand the Chinese culture,” said one of the students.
One of the events during the Belt and Road Initiative public relations month, the Chinese food festival, is held the same day. [Photo/Xinhua]
There are also activities such as learning to use chopsticks, write Chinese characters, and paint operatic faces. [Photo/Xinhua]
"Although the locals know that the bridge was built by China, many people still do not understand China,” said one of the local volunteers, "Having Chinese food and learning Chinese culture by the bridge like today, helps the people of the two countries to better understand each other and hopefully, there will be such activities in the future.”