China rejects of land-grabbing in Maldives
China on 12 February 2018 dismissed allegations about its land-grabbing spree in Maldives and claimed that its role in infrastructure and livelihood projects helped spur economy of the Indian Ocean archipelago.
- The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi issued the statement reacting to former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed's remarks published in a section of media in India, alleging that China had been engaging in land-grabbing in the islands of the Indian Ocean archipelago and thus undermining the security of the Indian Ocean region.
- These allegations are apparently groundless with no regard to facts. "As a matter of fact," "when Nasheed was the president, China and Maldives have already launched relevant cooperation projects. The land-grabbing allegation by Nasheed is apparently meant to serve certain political purposes of him.
- China has been investing in infrastructure projects in Maldives over the past few years as part of its efforts to acquire or build strategic assets in the Indian Ocean region.
- Beijing's move to expand its geopolitical influence over Maldives strained New Delhi's ties with Male, particularly after current President Abdulla Yameen took over.
- Yameen recently sent his Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed to Beijing to brief the Chinese government and secure its support for his refusal to abide by the order of the Supreme Court to release all political prisoners, arrest of chief justice of the apex court and declaration of state of emergency in the tiny archipelago.
- Nasheed, who is now in exile in Sri Lanka, on the other hand, called for New Delhi's military intervention to end the turmoil in Maldives.
- The Chinese Embassy in New Delhi said that the current situation in Maldives was the internal affairs of Maldives and should be properly resolved through dialogue and negotiation by various parties in the country.