Days after pro-China Yameen lost power in Maldives, this is what China has to say
Beijing, Sept 28: Days after Maldives' presidential election produced result that saw Abdulla Yameen losing power and Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih succeeding him, China's Global Times came up with an op-ed saying the election in the archipelago had nothing to do with any other country - be it India, China or any western nation.
In the piece titled 'Maldives will prioritize own interest, not India's', it was said that Maldives' relationship with China was a considered as a major factor in the election and there were two camps - pro-China and anti-China. "But the presidential election in the Maldives is supposed to have nothing to do with other countries, be it China, India, or any Western nations," it said.
The piece also mentioned about how favourably the media in India and the West viewed the election result in Maldives. It said though the crisis in Maldives earlier this year was seen by many as "the culmination of a standoff" between Yameen and the country's supreme court, it accused India of being instrumental behind the scene.
"Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the Maldives in September 2014. The country then kicked off its participation in China's Belt and Road initiative (BRI). Joint projects include the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge and other major infrastructure programs. The Maldives failed to complete these projects on its own and sought China's help, with the latter responding positively, triggering concern from India. New Delhi accused Yameen of cooperating with China, badmouthed BRI, and said Beijing was expanding its power to the Indian Ocean," it said.
The op-ed also said that India has had a strong influence on its maritime neighbour and played a major role in its political crisis. "That's also the reason why Maldives' China policy became a major subject during the nation's presidential election, the result of which may somewhat affect the nation's ties with China," it added.
However, the Chinese news website piece cautioned that there is less chance of the new president turning into entirely pro-India but only pro-self interest. President Solih will have to assess whether being pro-India will be serve his country's self interest.