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India must stop intervening in Male, Maldives under huge pressure from New Delhi: Chinese state media

Maldives crisis: The editorial in China's state-run Global Times further said that 'India has a strong desire to control South Asian countries as it regards the region as its backyard'.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: February 7, 2018 3:42:53 pm
India must stop intervening in Male, Maldives under huge pressure from New Delhi: Chinese state media Maldivian police stand guard on a main street during a protest by opposition supporters against the government’s delay in releasing their jailed leaders, including former president Mohamed Nasheed, despite a Supreme Court order, in Male, Maldives, February 5, 2018. Pictures taken February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer.

China’s state-run Global Times told India to not intervene in Male’s affairs and said political struggles are supposed to be internal affairs. In an editorial published on Tuesday titled ‘India must stop intervening in Malé’, the state-run media said, “For a long time, the Maldives has had to choose between being manipulated by India or its independence as a sovereign state. The Maldives must be under huge pressure from India.” The state-run Global Times is run by the Communist Party of China and is considered to often reflect Beijing’s views.

The editorial further said that ‘India has a strong desire to control South Asian countries as it regards the region as its backyard’. “New Delhi is particularly sensitive to any endeavour by small South Asian states toward independence and autonomy, especially ties with other major powers. New Delhi takes it for granted that it can openly intervene in their domestic affairs,” said the editorial. Also Read: India looks at sanctions, not boots on ground

Calling out all sides to exercise restraint in the Maldives crisis, the editorial said ‘The Maldives’ sovereignty should be respected and the political unrest should be left to the Maldivian people to address’. “We urge all sides in the country to exercise restraint and end the crisis at the minimum cost, striking the correct balance between legal and governmental authority,” it said. Mohamed Nasheed writes: Democracy is at stake in the Maldives, spectre of radical Islam looms large. India must act soon and firmly

Meanwhile, China on Wednesday opposed any military intervention in the Maldives, saying such a move would further complicate the situation. China’s reaction comes a day after former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed sought India’s help to resolve the political crisis in the island nation.

The languid Indian Ocean archipelago plunged into a political chaos last week when the country’s Supreme Court ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were “politically motivated and flawed”. The worsening political turmoil has led several countries to warn against travel to the country, which depends heavily on tourism, at the peak of the holiday season. The 15-day state of emergency imposed earlier this week gives the government sweeping powers to arrest and detain individuals and curtails the powers of the judiciary and the legislature.

Commenting on former president Mohamed Nasheed’s call to India, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told PTI, “The international community should play a constructive role on the basis of respecting the Maldives sovereignty instead of taking measures that could complicate the current situation.”

Maldives Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge were arrested at dawn Tuesday after security forces stormed the court complex in the capital Male. In a televised address to the nation hours later, Yameen said the judges were part of a plot to overthrow him. “I had to declare a national emergency because there was no other way to investigate these judges,” he said. “We had to find out how thick the plot or coup was.”

Yameen has had almost all the political opposition jailed since he came to power, in an escalating crackdown on dissent.

(With inputs from PTI)

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