China is seeking to deepen its relations with the island nation amid the growing dispute between India and the Maldives. China has now lectured India over the ongoing dispute with the Maldives and asked New Delhi to “be more open-minded” in an editorial that was published in the Global Times.
Chinese experts have claimed that India’s attitude of being the “regional boss has caused a strain in its relations with regional countries in South Asia” in an editorial published in the state-backed Global Times.
Chinese analysts and experts went on to say that India should not “shift the blame on China” and should instead take a more “open-minded approach” because it seems as though its politicians “lack confidence.”
India’s belief that it is the leader of the region is the cause of its tense relations with some South Asian nations. India ought to pause, consider its policies toward its neighbors, and give up the zero-sum mindset before assigning blame to China, according to analysts cited in the Global Times.
China has also supported the Maldives and Muizzu in the editorial. China has always respected the Maldives’ sovereignty and treated it as an equal partner, according to the report, which also stated that China “never asked Male to reject New Delhi because of the conflicts between China and India, nor does it.
Moreover, it attempted to defend Muizzu’s trip to China by stating that he is not inherently “pro-China and anti-India” due to his choice to travel to China before India. It simply indicates that Muizzu is approaching India with a typical mindset and guiding the Maldives-Indian relationship toward a typical state-state dynamic.
Additionally, it stated, “China has consistently respected the sovereignty of the Maldives and treated it as an equal partner.” It also acknowledges the cordial and cooperative ties that exist between the Maldives and India, emphasizing how crucial it is for Malé to keep positive ties with New Delhi,” the statement continued.
“Beijing does not see cooperation between the Maldives and India as hostile or dangerous, and it has never asked Malé to reject New Delhi due to the disputes between China and India. Additionally, it is open to implementing trilateral cooperation between the Maldives, China, and India. It concluded that New Delhi ought to maintain greater receptivity, given that China’s collaboration with South Asian nations is not a zero-sum endeavor.
Maldives-India Conflict During Muizzu’s Visit to China
Additionally, President Mohamed Muizzu’s visit to China coincides with the dispute with India. President Sajidha Mohamed and the First Lady will stay in China until January 12, 2024, at Xi Jinping’s invitation.
Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna, and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid, the three ministers, were suspended by Muizzu for making fun of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Lakshwadeep. The Maldivian government also announced that it would be “distancing” itself from their comments. The conflict between India and the Maldives, however, also draws attention to an issue that has long existed between the two countries: Indian military presence.
Muizzu took an “India-Out” stance during his campaign and pledged to force India to remove its troops if elected. Following his election victory in September 2023, the president of the Maldives started the process of removing the 77 Indian troops stationed there as a result of several agreements the island nation had signed.
After the disparaging comments made about Prime Minister Modi, the India-Maldives spat reached unprecedented heights, despite the tensions brought on by the troop deployment. Additionally, both nations have called in their envoys, indicating a further intensification. Male and Beijing are anticipated to sign many trade, infrastructure, and tourism-related agreements during Muizzu’s visit to China.