During newly elected President Mohamed Muizzu's first state visit to Beijing on Wednesday, the relationship between China and the Maldives was upgraded

 Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's inaugural state visit to Beijing boosted diplomatic ties with China.

The move follows Muizzu's election campaign, which portrayed India as a challenge to Maldives' sovereignty.

Chinese President Xi Jinping referred to Muizzu as "an established acquaintance" and outlined a strategic cooperative partnership for increased investment in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The meeting was attended by President Muizzu, who expressed appreciation for China's contribution to Maldives' economic prosperity and infrastructure advancement.

The Maldives has a debt of $1.37 billion to China, making it the largest bilateral creditor of the Maldives.

Chinese companies have made additional investments of $1.37 billion in the Maldives since the country's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative in 2014.

Xi expressed support for expanding direct flights between the two nations, which could benefit the Maldives' travel and tourism industry.