Chinese President Xi Ping has congratulated the Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Yameen on the Maldives’ 50th Independence Day.
Yameen’s administration has recently brought a new law that seems to be specially built for sea reclamation specialist China to hold land in Maldives.
The new law allows foreigners with investment of more than a billion to own land, on condition that at least 70 per cent of the area they develop is reclaimed from the sea.
Many in the strategic front sees Mr Yameen’s move as an open invitation to China to militarily engage in Indian Ocean.
Recently, the President Yameen has dismissed concerns over foreign military expansion under the law. He also assured India and other neighbours that his government would keep the Indian Ocean a demilitarised zone.
But relationship between India and Maldives is changing from bad to worse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped his visit to the island nation as part of his ‘Sagar Yatra’ in the Indian Ocean early this year.
Similarly, India has openly expressed its displeasure about the bad treatment given to the jailed democratic leader, Mohammad Nasheed. Nasheed was the former President who was overthrown by the China agent look like Yameen.
Maldives gives an interesting case where China tries to establish its foot holds in the Indian Ocean with military intent through dubious way. Many believe that Chinese presence in the Indian Ocean nation lacks civilian purpose.
Beijing’s Marine Silk Road Project has already watched by suspicion by India as new money and power may lure many small island nations in Indian Ocean to Chinese designs.