Everyone should pay attention to what Chinese Ambassador to Maldives Wang Lixin said, providing further direct evidence of the growing closeness between China and the Maldives. Apart from this, the way the Chinese Ambassador is seen working in an effective role clearly shows that the government of Male is now being run from Beijing only. Due to all this, the current political situation in Maldives is showing that President Mohammed Muizzu is rapidly losing his support base, but despite being aware of this reality, he is leaning towards China. At present, more statements are coming from the Chinese Ambassador than from the Maldivian Ministers about the country’s development or future plans, which shows how much influence Beijing has exerted on Male. Amidst all this, the reason has also come to light due to which President Mohammad Muizzu has asked India to withdraw its troops by March 15.
As far as the increasing Chinese influence on Male is concerned, let us tell you that Chinese Ambassador Wang Lixin has described the recent official visit of President Dr. Mohammed Muizzu to China on the invitation of President Xi Jinping as ‘historically important’ for both the countries. Speaking to the media, the Chinese Ambassador highlighted that twenty MoUs on a wide range of initiatives were signed between the countries during the visit. He said this is the highest number of agreements between China and any country in a single visit and the same is true for Maldives. Let us tell you that the twenty MoUs signed between China and Maldives include various development projects. Apart from this, the Chinese Ambassador also talked about the US$ 130 million grant being given by China to Maldives, which was announced by President Muizzu. Wang Lixin said, “This grant is a gift from China to the Maldives because it is to be used on projects.” However, he said that it is up to the government of Maldives on which project it will spend this grant amount. Let us tell you that the Maldives government had earlier said that a part of the grant can be used for the development of roads in ‘Male’ and ‘Villemale’.
Apart from this, as far as Maldives has requested China to send more tourists, China has started helping in this direction also. It is being told that this year’s first charter flight from China is expected to reach Maldives on February 14. It is being told that based on demand, Chinese airlines will start direct commercial flights which will reduce ticket prices. The Chinese Ambassador to Male believes that this move will encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Maldives. It is being told that a special representative of China will visit Maldives in the coming months to discuss finalizing the details of these flights between China and Maldives.
Furthermore, the Chinese Ambassador also confirmed that several Chinese companies have shown interest in joining the Rasmale (Fushidiggaru Falhu) housing project. He said that representatives of Chinese companies will soon reach Male. He said that we are keeping an eye on how this project can be best implemented and a delegation is expected to reach Maldives soon to discuss in this regard.
Apart from this, the Chinese Ambassador said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Maldives is working expeditiously on all the schemes under the agreements between the two countries. Regarding China’s decision to offer leniency in repayment of government loans, the Ambassador said that we want that things are being put in place so that Maldives does not have to worry about the debt and can pay easily. He said that we understand the position of the Maldives government and hence will not put any pressure on it to return the money.
On the other hand, if we talk about the reason due to which Muizzu has fixed the date of March 15 for the withdrawal of Indian soldiers, then let us tell you that actually he has done this because the elections for the Majlis i.e. Parliament of Maldives are to be held on March 17. . Let us remind you that after messing up with India, Muizzu’s party People’s National Congress (PNC) had lost the election of mayor of Male. But despite this defeat, Muizzu has not reduced his anti-India stance. Now Majlis elections are to be held on March 17. Muizzu believes that if the Indian soldiers leave Male by March 15, he can promote this as his victory and the fulfillment of his big election promise and make his party win the Majlis elections. Muizzu knows that to retain control over Maldives, it is necessary to win the Majlis elections. Muizzu knows that if the pro-India Maldivian Democratic Party wins the Majlis elections, it will become very difficult for him to work. That’s why they are taking help from China and China is also helping with full enthusiasm. For this, the Chinese Ambassador, like the spokesperson of Muizzu’s party, has started telling about the benefits to the public from Maldives and China relations.
However, it remains to be seen what verdict the people of Maldives give in the Majlis elections. As far as the game being played by Muizzu and China is concerned, both of them have to understand that India is fully alert to foil their every devious move. It is being told that the events that are going to happen in the coming days can surprise the whole world.
-Neeraj Kumar Dubey