Former Maldives president Nasheed pleased to see British warship in South China Sea; Beijing hits back

Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed irked China when he said in a tweet that he was pleased to see a British Carrier Strike group enter the South China Sea

Jul 28, 2021
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Former Maldives president Nasheed (File)

Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed irked China when he said in a tweet that he was pleased to see a British Carrier Strike group enter the South China Sea. The Chinese Embassy in the Maldives reacted to his tweet saying they would oppose “flexing muscles” to target China. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth, a British aircraft carrier, and its Carrier Strike Group have entered the South China Sea, a territory that China sees its area of operation. Beijing stakes its claim over the whole 1.3 million-square-mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory. 

Reacting to the incident, Nasheed tweeted, “This Maldivian Independence Day (from Britain), I was pleased to see a British Carrier Strike Group enter the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands, to ensure the right of navigation around the islands.” 

Responding to his tweet, the Chinese Embassy tweeted, “We respect the freedom of navigation and overflight in waters around China enjoyed by countries in accordance with international law, but firmly opposes the practice of flexing muscles targeting China, which undermines China's sovereignty and security and sabotages regional peace and stability.” 

Nasheed then again responded saying that being an island nation, the Maldives wanted all nations to respect the laws of the sea. 

Nasheed, who is considered a pro-Indian leader in Maldivian politics, is a known China baiter. On many occasions in the past, he has had Twitter spat with Chinese ambassadors in the Maldives.