Don't Want Maldives To Be Another Flashpoint, In Talks With India, Says China

China said the international community should respect sovereignty and independence of the Maldives, amid reports that Indian forces are ready for deployment to evacuate Indians

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Don't Want Maldives To Be Another Flashpoint, In Talks With India, Says China

China views the Maldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean (AFP)

Beijing: 

Highlights

  1. China in touch with India to resolve Maldives crisis: Official
  2. China continues to maintain there should not be any external interference
  3. Doklam, Masood Azhar have been major irritants in India-China relations
China is in touch with India to discuss a way to resolve the political crisis in the Maldives and does not want the issue to become another "flashpoint" between the two neighbours, Chinese officials with direct knowledge of the matter said.

China continues to maintain there should not be any external interference, the officials said. Indian special forces are said to be ready for deployment to evacuate Indians stranded in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The standoff last year in Doklam and Beijing's opposition to declaring Pakistan-based Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN have been major irritants in bilateral ties.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump have discussed on phone today about the situation in Maldives.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the international community should respect sovereignty and independence of the Maldives. "The current situation in the Maldives is its internal affairs. It should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultations by all relevant parties," he said.

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen sent his Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed to China. India said it did not find the dates "suitable" for the visit of the Maldivian foreign minister as special envoy to New Delhi.

The UN Security Council also met to discuss the situation in the Maldives. Ahead of the meeting, UN Assistant Secretary- General Miroslav Jenca reported to have informed the top UN body that while there were no reports of violent clashes, "the situation in the Maldives is tense and may deteriorate even further".

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Mohamed Saeed in his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has briefed him about the situation in the Maldives, adding China is committed to upholding the rule of law and social order independently.

"The Maldives has the ability to protect the security of the Chinese personnel and the institutions," Mr Saeed told Mr Wang.

"China will not interfere in the internal affairs of the Maldives. This is also an important principle enshrined by UN charter. We support the Maldives government to properly resolve issues through dialogue and consultations with relevant parties and uphold independence, sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests of Maldives," Mr Wang said, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman.

On how Maldives can resolve the problem independently and unilaterally when top judges and leaders have been locked up by the Yameen government, Mr Geng said, "I think you should raise this question to Maldives government. How will they resolve their internal affairs you should ask them."

To another question whether Mr Saeed sought China's help to tide over the crisis, Mr Geng said, "I can tell you that diplomatic channels between the two countries is smooth. China and the Maldives maintain normal and friendly exchanges."

China views the Maldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean as it has already acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
 

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