Minister of Defence Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon and Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lijin, during a courtesy call by the Ambassador on Monday, discussed strengthening defence ties between the two nations.

Discussions were held on the future strengthening of defence ties as well as the security and safety of the two nations, the Ministry of Defence said.

China and the Maldives, in March, signed a defence cooperation agreement where the east Asian nation would provide assistance to the Maldives in terms of defence and security.

Major General Zhang Baoqun, Deputy Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of the People’s Republic of China and Defence Minister Ghassan signed the agreement under which China will provide defence equipment and training to the Maldives.

No additional details were provided about the agreement, which has led to criticism of the administration—including the decision to allow the docking of a Chinese research vessel that had been banned from entering the territorial waters of some other nations—by the opposition.