India on Friday, reacting to reports that China hoped that the Maldives government can resolve the raging internal political crisis on its own, said that all countries can play a constructive role in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.
“We note that China has said that Maldives government has the ability to protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in Maldives,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
“We hope that all countries can play a constructive role in Maldives, instead of doing the opposite,” it added.
Earlier on Friday a Chinese official said that China did not want the Maldivian political crisis to become another thorny issue with India
The official told IANS that China was in touch with India over the issue.
The Maldives has plunged into a crisis with its President Abdulla Yameen declaring a state of emergency and arresting the Chief Justice and a former head of state.
India has traditionally held influence in the Indian Ocean atoll nation where China has been trying to make inroads because of the country’s strategic location.
The archipelago in the Indian Ocean is of immense strategic importance to India and China, the world’s two most populous countries dependent on energy imports.
Experts say the Maldivian crisis could well become a new power struggle between India and China.
Yameen has sent special envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia even as New Delhi politely declined to host the Maldivian Foreign Minister.
It all started when the Maldives’ Supreme Court termed as unjust the imprisonment of nine MPs and former President Mohamed Nasheed who is in exile.
The court ruling of February 1 – if implemented – would have restored the Nasheed party’s majority and threatened Yameen’s presidency.
Nasheed, perceived to be close to New Delhi, has urged India to intervene militarily, a move which China has warned will only complicate the situation.
“Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with the Maldives’ President’s special envoy, (Maldivian) Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed. He introduced the current situation in the Maldives and said that the government is committed to upholding the rule of the law and social order and independently achieving national stability and development,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in Beijing.
Geng also reiterated that China would not interfere in the Maldives’ internal affairs and oppose any outside intervention.
Wang told Saeed that China was closely watching the situation and was confident that Male had the wisdom to solve the crisis by itself.