Don't read too much into China setting up embassy: Maldives

Discussion in 'China' started by huaxia rox, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    The Hindu : News / National : Don't read too much into China setting up embassy: Maldives


    Foreign Minister assures safety of Indians working in the multi-island country

    A few days after an Indian was beaten up and robbed in Male, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah assured his interlocutors here of his government's willingness to ensure the safety of an estimated 23,000 Indians working in far-flung territories of the multi-island country.

    However, Mr. Abdullah, speaking to The Hindu at a time when the Maldives is in the middle of a political stalemate of sorts, called upon strategic analysts not to drag his country into their vision of an India-China rivalry playing out in the Indian Ocean, because “we are too small.”

    The Minister also spoke of anti-corruption investigations into the money spent for the SAARC summit, the emptying of the Central Exchequer and liberal grant of islands which were subsequently sold to foreigners, all of which took place during the previous President Mohd. Nasheed's watch and could inflame political acrimony between his Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) and the others who have formed a unity government.

    Mr. Abdullah gave the interview after meeting External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and discussing the situation in his country with senior MEA officials. India has helped shore up Maldives foreign reserves and extended an agreement to supply essentials like pulses, vegetables and rice. It is also insisting that the warring parties settle their differences, preferably through polls towards the end of this year. Mr. Nasheed, who now says he didn't want to resign but was coerced into demitting office in February, is making efforts to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but there has been no word so far from the PMO. “There are 23,000 Indians in the Maldives including doctors, teachers and nurses. They have been of tremendous help and obviously we will continue to have security arrangements,” Mr. Abdullah said, pointing out that after Mr. Nasheed ‘resigned' as President in February, the government did not change in technical terms. “It was just a change of the President. The policies of the government by and large towards international relations will continue as before.”

    “POSITIVE THING”

    On Indian strategic analysts making much of China being the first non-South Asian country to open a mission in Male, the Minister's plea was plaintive — “It is not in the interest of Maldives to be pulled apart. We are too small for that,” he said while describing the opening of the embassy as a “positive thing.” Mr. Abdullah gave a down-to-earth explanation to those suggesting that the embassy was part of Beijing's ‘string of pearls' strategy to encircle India — “China you got to recognise is a superpower. It continues to have good ties with most countries including Russia and the U.S., so don't read anything more.”

    The Minister was combative when contesting the claim that Mr. Nasheed had expressed his disappointment with India for recognising a new government despite his having “stuck his neck out” by signing unprecedented security agreements with New Delhi. “Security arrangements between the two countries were there before Mr. Nasheed was born. The first comprehensive security agreement was struck in 1974. Dosti, the joint military exercise, is 20 years old. Any training course that the top military brass in Maldives attended has been in India.”

    Mr. Abdullah said: “If India has strengthened its security ties with Maldives, it is not because of Mr. Nasheed but because Maldives is located at a very important place where many superpowers will be taking interest. I would not say special security ties were developed because Mr. Nasheed was the President. Indians, I am sure, would not like to deal only with one faction of Maldivian politics.”

    EXTERNAL DEBT

    The Minister said the anti-corruption department was investigating why external debt ballooned to over 23 billion Maldivian rufiyaa, from 9 billion three years ago; the enormous sums spent on construction in a remote island for the SAARC summit; the hundreds of high salary-drawing political appointments; and the 400 islands allegedly given to MDP supporters for developing resorts.

    “The government did not get anything from the grant of islands and shallow reefs, and these were sold to foreigners. Now how do we deal with the foreign buyers? Maldivian courts don't have the capacity. The Tourism Ministry is very upset because it wanted to make better use of the functioning 100 ones and another 60 that haven't been able to take off. We are investigating and so far there is no conclusive evidence. The whole idea is not to go to court or convict some people.”
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The string of pearls is not much of a concern right now.

    It is only when it is converted into bases that it will be of interest.

    But then, more than India, other nations would be more interested in the change of status.
     
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    First an extremist coup, then beating up of Indians and then news of China setting shop. Yeah, they are well disposed towards us and we have nothing to worry about!
     
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  5. redragon

    redragon Regular Member

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    Isn't it very normal for two countries set up embassy?
     
  6. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    China is already No.1 origin of tourists for Maldive overtaking UK and Italy. During 2011, 198 thousand Chinese tourists visited Maldive, 21.3% of her total visitors. And still on the rise.

    It's just natural to open an embassy.
     
  7. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    It is natural to open embassy. But what took you do long?

    The circumstances concerns us. Read my previous post.
     
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  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    The Islamists taking over Maldives was a sign. We should have sent the troops to dismantle the new coupe and re-instate Nasheed. But this anti-India government has let us down again. Out with it!
     
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  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    PAST AND PRESENT
    - India is in a crucial transitional moment in international affairs
    Ronen Sen


    .....t has always taken strong leadership to bring about changes in Indian policies......

    Our past preoccupations with domestic developments or short-term political considerations had prevented us from grasping the implications of major transitional phases in international relations.....

    We are now again in another crucial transitional moment in international affairs. The situation is in a flux with growing tensions in west and southwest Asia, an imminent generational transition in Chinese leadership, forthcoming elections in the US in the midst of modest but notable recovery in that country, and economic stagnation and fragility in the Eurozone. Some view complex problems in a simplistic perspective of the US and the West versus the Rest. Others advocate our steering clear of problems outside our immediate neighbourhood or seek refuge in familiar formulations of marginal contemporary relevance. None of the emerging challenges lend themselves to easy solutions or predictable outcomes. Yet we have to make choices though some of the consequent decisions may well be considered inadvisable in hindsight. There can, however, be nothing worse than procrastination and inaction.

    In our own neighbourhood, we took a number of major and far reaching initiatives in recent years, including in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. Yet, we have tended to be unduly cautious by trying to act in conformity to norms that we have been recently advocating multilaterally, and also excessively concerned about our losing further ground to China. Whatever we say today about armed intervention on humanitarian grounds, we acted rightly in using decisive military force to ensure success of the liberation movement in Bangladesh in the wake of the massive pogrom unleashed on its people. We also did not hesitate in intervening militarily in Sri Lanka with the aim of reordering its society and ensuring a constitutional amendment for addressing the legitimate rights of its Tamil citizens.

    I can now reveal that the classic military rescue operations in the Maldives, in 1988, were personally supervised by Rajiv Gandhi through the night and till their successful completion in the early morning. This involved his assuming personal responsibility in reversing a Cabinet decision on the operations, approving placement of boats for our landing forces and denying access to these by the militants, working out an all-clear password by the Maldivian air traffic control, and other measures.

    This hands-on leadership of Rajiv Gandhi ensured the success of the military mission, which enhanced India’s international prestige and the morale of our armed forces. His decisions also resulted in the saving of lives, which would otherwise have been lost, of a number of our armed forces personnel and of Maldivian civilians. The policy of regional pre-eminence of the 1970s and 80s perhaps needed to be reviewed in the current environment. But we need not have swung to another extreme. Our decision on voting in favour of the resolution on Sri Lanka by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, after securing suitable amendments, was most welcome. But the perceived circumstances in which the decision was taken conveyed an undesirable impression.....

    The Telegraph - Archives
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Indian foreign policy currently led by wimps!
     
  11. SLASH

    SLASH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Maldives is not going anywhere. Being closer to India we will always have far greater influence over them. There is no bad blood between Maldives and India so there is no way that China can persuade Maldives to allow a naval base. Another bad investment by the Chinese government.
     

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