BEIJING: China has donated USD 500,000 besides rushing tonnes of bottled water to the Maldivian capital to overcome the crippling drinking water crisis in the city with a senior official saying it demonstrated its "sincerity" towards neighbouring countries.
"What China has done fully demonstrates that China and its neighbouring countries share the same destiny and showcase neighbourhood diplomacy of sincerity, amity and mutual benefit," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media here.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman said that China has provided emergency cash assistance and rushed water supplies as a humanitarian assistance.
The Chinese government donated USD 500,000 after the Maldives government said that an estimated USD 20 million would be required to repair the plant that was damaged in a fire on Thursday resulting in the capital's population of 130,000 being without water for four days.
The Chinese government has arranged for all commercial flights out of China to Male to be loaded with drinking water.
Two Chinese military aircraft laden with 40 tonnes of drinking water left for the water-starved Maldives last night, Xinhua report said.
In addition, a Chinese navy ship with water purification facilities is already making way to capital Male and will provide drinking water to residents once it is docked.
"The Chinese government has already come forward with a USD 500,000 donation. Discussions are ongoing with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other Arab governments. We hope to get monetary aid from them," Maldives Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
Fresh supplies of water continue to arrive from abroad mostly from India and China with distribution being carried out by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) with the assistance of local non-governmental organisations alongside numerous private businesses.
Male, located on a low-lying island in the Indian Ocean, has no natural water source and entirely depends on treated sea water.
The island nation had appealed for aid from India, Sri Lanka, the US and China.
India became the first country to provide aid. India on Friday sent nearly 200 tonnes of water by air and dispatched a naval vessel.
Restoring water supplies to the Maldivian capital could take 10 more days, a Maldivian official said today.