Diplomacy Politics

Maldives president-elect invited to visit China

President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been invited to make a state visit to China once he is sworn into office on November 17.

The invitation was extended by Chinese ambassador Zhang Lizhong during a courtesy call on Saturday. The pair “discussed how China can continue to assist the Maldives with its development, in particular in housing, water and sewerage, and tourism,” according to Solih’s office.

The president-elect informed the ambassador that “his foreign policy priorities would focus on democracy, human rights, and climate change.”

President Abdulla Yameen’s heavy defeat in the September 23 election was widely reported as a blow for China, which financed his administration’s flagship infrastructure projects with loans in excess of a billion dollars, drawing accusations of a debt trap from the main opposition party’s leader.

During the campaign, the joint opposition candidate pledged to review contracts but assured the public that ongoing projects would not be scrapped.

The Chinese state-run Global Times, which is said to reflect the views of party leaders, backed “mutually beneficial cooperation” to continue under Solih.

An unnamed official from the outgoing Yameen administration predicted that “Solih will not refuse trade or investment from China” despite a diplomatic adjustment in favour of traditional ally India. A senior official of the China-Maldives cultural association also expected support for Chinese investment.

“It is worth mentioning that cooperation projects between China and the Maldives are made in infrastructure construction and tourism, and China and India do not compete with each other in these two sectors,” Long Xingchun, an associate professor of China’s West Normal University, was quoted as saying.

According to Xingchuan, Beijing has come up with a constructive “two-plus-one” mechanism for rivals China and India to work together in the Maldives.

An op-ed on the South China Morning Post suggested “there will be no ditching, only diplomatic rebalancing” as the benefits of Chinese investment outweighed concerns over debt.

In a congratulatory message to Solih last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed willingness to cement the China-Maldives friendship and “deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields to better benefit the people of both countries.”

Full details are available at the link below:

Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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MissIndia
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MissIndia

The president elect should think twice before visiting China, a distant land which does not have a common culture nor land and sea borders with Maldives. He might as well visit Australia, Mongolia or Zimbabwe! Whilst in China the president will be offered more Debt Trap Loans for infrastructural projects your tiny country cannot afford and pressurised yet again to join the Belt and Road Initiative which seems to only favour Chinese businesses. My advice to president elect Solih would be to roundup all the Chinese government ‘advisors’ in the Maldives, including the journalists of the trashy Global Times and… Read more »

MissIndia
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MissIndia

If PM Modi gets wind that the new president is planning to visit China he might postpone his trip to Maldives forever. Best not to risk the great man’s displeasure. President Solih should make some excuse and cancel the China trip.
Like I said you are a small banana…er sorry…coconut republic of no strategic value to india and we don’t need you at all. Also you are ‘100% sunni muslims’ which tends to put off most people in India especially the VHP and the RSS. So sadly the facts are not in your favour at the moment.

MrIndia
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Solih – listen to your order from RAW! Grrh!! Otherwise kali ka wrath be on you!!

MrIndia
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Again India will not like it a bit. It is not about Yameen. It is about India controlling Maldives. Those with necktie bit nothing-inside-brain are cowards.