Aerial photo taken on March 24, 2022 shows a bridge built by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) in Hulhumale, Maldives.

It all started a few years ago with the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge. Built with support from China, the opening of the bridge meant that for the first time, people could walk from capital Male to the neighboring island of Hulhumale. TO GO WITH: Feature: “New connections” — China bridges gap in Maldives’ hottest growth spot (CSCEC/Handout via Xinhua) International NewsIndustry economics .