Diplomacy Opinion Politics

China opening a maritime front against India in Maldives

If anybody has doubts that China’s signing with the Maldives, the protocol on establishment of a joint ocean observation centre at the northern most atoll Makunudhoo, last year, has any other implication other than adding one more pearl in order to dominate and surround India in its backyard and spy on all the maritime traffic in Indian Ocean, should get his/her head tested from a psychiatrist.

Although, it is a separate issue that both China and Maldives are denying this as the reason behind setting up of the proposed observatory.

Maldives’ previous president Nishad is saying that China has already acquired 17 northern most atolls from Maldives. What China is doing on them is still not clear. The matter is very hush-hush. As per opposition leaders of Maldivian parties, this proposed joint observation centre being built by China in Makunudhoo has both civil and military connotations. This centre will have a submarine base and other military facilities. It is sounding very much like what China is building in South China Sea (SCS) with all the military facilities.
There apart from unilaterally declaring to the Western world, especially America, that SCS is basically Chinese territory, this observation post that China is building there has all the military applications including submarine base. This proposed joint observation centre which China is now building on Makunudhoo atoll is akin to the one it built in SCS and is very close to India’s Lakshadweep port. Needless to say India should be suitably upset.

This agreement with China has been made by the current president Abdulla Yameen of Maldives last year, along with signing of free trade agreement. Abdulla Yameen is basically a Chinese stooge who is hell bent on selling Maldives’ integrity and sovereignty to China for personal gains. Currently he has jailed the Supreme Court judges who dared to pass adverse judgment against him. He had initially declared emergency in Maldives for 15 days but has now extended it to another 30 days. The truth is that he is sitting in China’s camp. China has already warned India not to intervene in Maldives’ affairs like India did in 1988.

It is good that India has not intervened in Maldivian politics despite previous president Nishad, who was ousted by his half brother and current president Yameen by dubious means in 2012, requesting India, to do so, because today’s Maldives is very different proposition from 1988. Radicalisation of Maldives is on the upswing. Although a large number of Maldivian youth who had enrolled in the ISIS have now returned back. Maldives today is a democracy. It has a democratically elected government. Whatever crooked means current president Abdulla is following, it is still an internal matter of Maldives. Any outward interference of India in matters of Maldives will not be liked by Maldivians itself, as India has definite stakes in the country and the current Maldivian government is more inclined towards China.

China warning India not to interfere in Maldives’ internal matters also cannot be taken lightly by India. However, India can approach the US & UK to do the needful since they do not have a stake in the country and have an excuse that they want to strengthen democracy in Maldives. There are also reports that in the past couple of years, China has been building a port at southern part of the country at Lammu atoll. Surely, India has a right to ask what this observation centre and port is all about. It is also now imperative that our political masters realise that India will not be allowed to rest in peace.

By China now having joined hands with Pakistan, India has no option but to enhance its maritime power and strategic reach at least in its neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean.

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Source URL: Bing News :

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