Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef has arrived in China on his first foreign trip since assuming office. During the visit, the vice president is expected to participate in the ‘China-Indian Ocean Region Forum on Development Cooperation’ in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

The forum, scheduled for 7 and 8 December 2023, is a collaborative initiative between the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) and the People’s Government of Yunnan Province. The CIDCA operates under the auspices of the Communist Party of China (CPC). As part of his itinerary, Latheef is expected to deliver an address at the forum and engage in bilateral discussions with Chinese government officials, a statement by the President’s Office read.

This event marks the second iteration of the high-level official development cooperation forum, a joint venture between China and the countries of the Indian Ocean Region. The inaugural summit, conducted in November 2022, involved 19 nations, with India being a notable absentee. Subsequent to the forum, both the Maldives and Australia refuted claims of their participation as asserted by China, with several other governments reportedly following suit.

Accompanying Latheef on this visit is the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed. After the forum, Latheef is scheduled to travel to Switzerland to attend a high-level event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This event, to be held in Geneva from 11 to 12 December 2023, is convened by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland.