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Chinese builders make Maldives' 'mission impossible' 'mission done'

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-08-30

A cross-sea bridge built with Chinese aid, called the "China-Maldives Friendship Bridge", opened in the island nation of Maldives on Aug 30.

As a landmark for the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road under the Belt and Road Initiative, the 2-kilometer-long bridge connects Maldives’s capital city Male with the airport island of Hulhule, allowing people to commute by car in just five minutes.

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Fireworks light up at the inauguration ceremony for the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge on Aug 30. [Photo/Xinhua]

Amila (the Chinese transliteration of a young Maldivian woman’s name) decided to visit the bridge after her usual work, just as it was ready to open to traffic.

Visiting the construction site of the bridge project has been a must-do for many residents in Male since its groundbreaking ceremony at the end of 2015.

“It started construction three years ago. My friends and I thought it was a ‘mission impossible’ at that time,” said Amila, adding that she believes Maldives will have a better future.  

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Local residents rest near the bridge project on Aug 28. [Photo/Xinhua]

 “The completion of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge makes young people in Maldives know that they must remember to dream big,” said Midhuam Saud of the Maldives China Trade & Cultural Organization in an interview with Xinhua News Agency.

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The nightscape of the bridge [Photo/Xinhua]

According to Midhuam, about 100,000 people live on 1.5-square-kilometer Male Island. The Maldivian government is building houses on Hulhumalé Island to improve locals’ life.

With clear skies, blue seas and a tropical landscape, Maldives is considered a romantic place for many tourists around the world. As for the bridge contractor -- China Communications Construction Company Second Harbour Engineering -- the construction was not so romantic.

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Photo taken on Feb 4, 2017 shows a trestle bridge used by workers. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese workers conquered a group of difficulties in a harsh environment, such as surging waves, coral reefs as well as sticky weather and high radiation to ensure its completion on time, said the project’s chief engineer Cheng Duoyun.

A local media outlet called it a day worth being recorded in the country’s history.

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Thousands of Maldivian people watch the firework and light show at the inauguration ceremony for the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge on Aug 30. [Photo/Xinhua]


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