Maldives President Muizzu to meet Xi in China next week.

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: International Relations

Topic: India & Its Neighbourhood Policy

Issue: Shifting Foreign Policy Of Maldives.

Context: New Maldives President Muizzu’s China visit raises concerns for India due to shifting foreign policy, military withdrawal, and closer China ties.


Maldives Foreign Policy Implications for India:

  1. The decision by President Muizzu to visit China before India marks a departure from the traditional sequence of visits by Maldivian leaders.
  2. This shift raises concerns in India about a potential reorientation of the Maldives’ foreign policy towards greater alignment with China.

Recent Developments :

  1. President Muizzu’s request for the withdrawal of 77 Indian military personnel from the Maldives is a matter of concern for India. The presence of Indian military personnel in the Maldives has historically been part of defense and security cooperation agreements between the two countries.
  2. The decision to review more than 100 bilateral agreements with India suggests a reevaluation of the overall relationship. This move creates uncertainties about the future trajectory of diplomatic, economic, and security ties between India and the Maldives.
  3. Cancellation of Hydrographic Survey Agreement: The announcement of plans to drop a hydrographic survey agreement with India is another significant concern for India. Such agreements are essential for maritime security and cooperation, especially in the strategically important Indian Ocean region.
  4. Strained Political Relations: The fallout between President Muizzu and his predecessor, Abdullah Yameen, who had close ties with China, adds a layer of complexity to the political dynamics in the Maldives. This internal political discord may impact the country’s external relationships and influence its foreign policy decisions.
  5. the new Maldivian Vice President participated in a China-sponsored forum and praised Chinese infrastructure projects raises concerns about China’s increasing influence in the region.
  6. This influence, particularly through initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), could have geopolitical implications in the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives holds strategic importance for India due to its proximity and location along crucial commercial sea lanes in the Indian Ocean. Any shift in the Maldives’ foreign policy that distances it from India could have strategic implications for India’s security and geopolitical interests in the region. 


India – Maldives


Conclusion: The evolving political and diplomatic landscape in the Maldives, including the changing foreign policy dynamics and the growing influence of China, raises concerns for India regarding its strategic interests, security cooperation, and historical ties with the Maldives.

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