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We could also be small, however received’t be bullied: Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu on return from China 

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Maldives’ President Mohamed Muizzu (2nd L), his spouse Sajidha Mohamed (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping (2nd R) and his spouse Peng Liyuan posing for images throughout a welcome ceremony on the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
| Photo Credit: AFP

The Maldives could also be a small island nation, however that doesn’t permit others to “bully” the nation, President Mohamed Muizzu stated on January 12, simply as he arrived in Male, after a five-day state go to to China.

He additional famous in his media assertion that the Indian Ocean “does not belong to one particular country”, and that the Maldives “is not in anyone’s backyard”.  

Mr. Muizzu’s remarks, apparently alluding to India, come amid a rising pressure between Male and New Delhi. Maldives-India bilateral relations have remained tense since Mr. Muizzu’s election in September, following his demand that Indian troops be swiftly withdrawn from the Maldives.

Also Read: Maldives, China comply with ‘elevate’ strategic cooperation

Last month, his Cabinet determined towards renewing a joint hydrographic survey initiative with India. Delivering the most recent jolt to ties, three junior Ministers within the Muizzu administration criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indians on social media, over his latest go to to Lakshadweep. Social media customers in India, in flip, mobilised round a “Boycott Maldives” marketing campaign threatening to affect the Indian Ocean archipelago’s very important tourism trade.  

The authorities in Male distanced itself from the controversial remarks and has since suspended the three deputy Ministers. While Mr. Muizzu has circuitously commented on the diplomatic row to date — New Delhi summoned the Maldivian envoy earlier this week — his remarks on Friday are the primary indication but of his place.

Meanwhile throughout his China go to, Mr. Muizzu urged Chinese vacationers to reclaim the highest spot in arrivals, held by Indian guests for 2 years now; oversaw the signing of 20 MoUs between the 2 nations, together with for higher strategic partnership;  and pledged additional help for China’s Belt and Road initiative.  In his feedback to native media on the Velana International Airport, Mr. Muizzu additionally stated China has agreed to start negotiations on probably deferring or easing compensation phrases for its loans to the Maldives.

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