Published On: Mon, Jan 8th, 2024

‘Never asked Maldives to reject India’, says China

Beijing: In the wake of a diplomatic dispute between India and the Maldives following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Lakshadweep, China has called upon New Delhi to approach its South Asian neighbours with an ”open mind.”

China emphasized that its cooperation with South Asian countries is not a “zero-sum game

The Global Times, China’s state media, emphasized in an editorial that it considers the Maldives an ”equal partner and respects its sovereignty.”

The editorial affirms China’s respect for the friendly and cooperative relationship between the Maldives and India, recognizing the significance of Malé maintaining good relations with New Delhi. Contrary to speculation, Beijing clarified that it has never pressured the Maldives to reject India due to Sino-Indian conflicts.

Moreover, China views cooperation between the Maldives and India as neither unfriendly nor a threat, expressing willingness for trilateral cooperation.

China emphasized that its cooperation with South Asian countries is not a “zero-sum game.” The editorial urged New Delhi to adopt a more open-minded approach, emphasizing the need to understand that China’s engagement in the region is not at the expense of India.

The Global Times addressed the misinterpretation by Indian media regarding President Muizzu’s visit to China before India. It highlighted that such speculations, assuming the order of visits reflects the importance of nations, reveal India’s perception of South Asia as its sphere of influence. President Muizzu’s decision to visit China first does not imply a pro-China and anti-India stance but rather signifies a normal state-to-state relationship. The editorial encouraged understanding this diplomatic move within the context of fostering healthy relations.

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