For years Aminat Waheeda drove her taxi along the narrow lanes and congested roads of the Maldives capital looking for passengers. The most lucrative fares – airport arrivals – were out of reach.

The airport serving Male is on a different island and a speedboat was needed to get between the two.

In 2018, that all changed, as did Ms Waheeda’s life. And the single mother of two teenagers has China to thank.

A 2.1km (1.3-mile), four-lane bridge built with $200m (£148m) from Beijing means Male’s taxi drivers can now pick up passengers right from the airport entrance.

“After the bridge was built, transportation got easy for everyone,” she says. “[It] has helped taxi drivers like me to earn more money.”

In fact, her income doubled.

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