A team from China will arrive in the Maldives this week to carry out a survey on a key bridge project expected to be funded by China, an official said here on Monday.
The survey will be for a bridge connecting Maldives capital Male with the nearby island of Hulhule. The survey will begin on Friday, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb told reporters.
The Chinese government will favorably consider helping finance the bridge project, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during last month's visit to the country.
"After that, we will obtain the required finance for project and start practical work on the bridge," said Adeeb.
The survey will determine the pier points for the proposed bridge which will link the capital island Male with the airport island of Hulhule.
The project has been mooted by successive governments, with previous plans considering a bridge connecting the airport island with the Rahlugandhu area on the south-eastern corner of Male, the artificial beach area, or the northern harbor via Funadhoo island.
The government has insisted that the project can be completed within two years, with the Ministry of Economic Development suggesting it will help to ease urban congestion in the capital island -- one of the most densely populated in the world.
Diplomatic ties between the two nations have grown in the wake of the large numbers of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives -- now 30 percent of total arrivals.