Promising to provide a boost to tourism-dependent Maldives, China today said it would encourage its cash-rich citizens to visit the Indian Ocean archipelago and facilitate more Maldivian students to study in Chinese institutions.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, who met his Maldivian counterpart Mohamed Nasheed said China would further encourage citizens to visit Maldives, advance China-Maldives cooperation in tourism and help more students from that country to study in China.
According to official estimates, about 54 million Chinese were expected to visit abroad this year and many countries including India are trying to woo a substantial number of them to boost tourism.
Maldives with its exotic islands is mainly dependent on tourism.
Hu also said the two countries would benefit by increased economic and trade cooperation as Nasheed called on him in Shanghai.