Maldives vice president meets Chinese ambassador in Male, reaffirms ‘One-China’ policy

Maldives Vice President Ahmed Naseem met the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Male, Wang Lixin, and reaffirmed the archipelago’s firm support for the “One-China” policy

Dec 23, 2021
Image
Maldives-China

Maldives Vice President Ahmed Naseem met the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Male, Wang Lixin, and reaffirmed the archipelago’s firm support for the “One-China” policy. The meeting with Beijing’s envoy came on Wednesday amid the backdrop of increasing anti-India protests by the opposition parties.

During the meeting, Naseem thanked China for its extensive assistance in joining the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative–a move, he said, helped the country to restart its economy. 

The Maldives, which owe a large infrastructure debt to China, faced difficulties last year when its economy contracted by almost 30 percent, mainly due to the pandemic-induced downturn. Naseem also appreciated China’s assistance to the archipelago in dealing with the pandemic.

As Maldives and China prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of their bilateral relations in 2022, the Chinese envoy noted that the ties between the two nations have been excellent over the years, local media reported. 

Significantly, China’s ties with the Maldives saw a dramatic rise under the previous regime of President Abdullah Yameen. However, it came at the cost of its ties with India. The change of administration later in 2018 reversed the trend, as President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih again reaffirmed its India-First Policy. 

Since Solih took office in 2018, Male and Beijing haven’t had any high-profile visits at the leadership level, despite the former's continued insistence on seeking a visit, at least at the level of foreign ministers.  Solih though made a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping in July this year. 

Interestingly, the Maldives, which heavily relies on tourism, has made repeated requests to China to resume its tourist traffic—China used to be its source market in the pre-pandemic time—to fly to the archipelago. 

Another factor, that could see the Solih government increasing its level of bilateral exchange, at least in the coming months, with China, is the continued domestic pressure mounted by opposition parties in the form of anti-India protests, where the latter accuse the government of permitting the presence of Indian military. 

(SAM) 

Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook

Newsletter Subscription

The subscriber's email address.
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
NEWS BEHIND THE NEWS (NbN)