25 September 2018
Spokesman for president-elect Solih’s party described deals with Beijing as ‘debt traps’ but island nation relies on Chinese investment, tourists.
China is “bracing for the worst” after the Maldives voted to oust Beijing-friendly President Abdulla Yameen, analysts said on Monday, while warning that the island nation should tread carefully as it seeks a new balance in its relations with China and India.
Although the Maldives – an archipelago of 26 ring-shaped atolls in the Indian Ocean – has traditionally maintained strong ties to New Delhi, Yameen cultivated a close relationship with Beijing during his five years in office.
… Despite ousting a Beijing-friendly government, Sri Lanka was so indebted to China that it was forced to hand over the running of its Hambantota port on a 99-year lease.
Nonetheless, Dr Sinderpal Singh, a senior fellow at the South Asia Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said president-elect Solih would be wise to tread carefully in his dealings with both Beijing and Delhi.
“If we view Sri Lanka as a template, the new regime in Maldives will have to be careful as it makes a path correction towards India … [it] will have to be cautious about how it treats China.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 26/09/2018