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After Doklam, don't want Maldives to become flashpoint with India: China

The current situation in the Maldives is its internal affairs: China

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

Illustration by Binay Sinha
Illustration by Binay Sinha

on Friday said it is in touch with India to discuss a way to resolve the political turmoil gripping the and underlined that doesn't want the issue to become another "flashpoint". While officially continues to maintain that there should not be any external interference specially in the light of reports of India's special forces ready for deployment, is also in touch with New Delhi to resolve the crisis, Chinese official sources said. doesn't want to become another "flash point", the sources told PTI here on Friday. The stand-off between India and in the Dokalam area and Beijing's opposition to declaring Pakistan-based Masood Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN had been major irritants in bilateral ties in the past. Answering a spate of questions on the Maldives, including today's telephonic conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump, in which the situation in the figured prominently, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said international community should respect sovereignty and independence of the "The current situation in the is its internal affairs. It should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultations by all relevant parties," he said. President Abdulla Yameen sent his Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed to but India said it did not find the dates "suitable" for the visit of Maldives' foreign minister as special envoy to New Delhi. The UN Security Council too met to discuss the situation.

Ahead of the meeting, UN Assistant Secretary- General Miroslav Jenca reported to have informed the top UN body that while there were no reports of violent clashes, "the situation in the is tense and may deteriorate even further". Geng, while replying to a question on reports that Indian Special Forces were ready for deployment in the to evacuate Indians, said "non-interference in other countries is an important principle of international relations". "The international community should respect the will of the and play a constructive role in the stability and development of instead of doing the opposite," he said. He said Saeed in his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has introduced the current situation in the and said that the government is committed to uphold the rule of law and social order independently resolving the current issue and achieving stability and development. "The has the ability to protect the security of the Chinese personnel and the institutions," Saeed told Wang. For his part, Wang said is closely following the situation in the and believe that the government and people there have the ability to properly resolve the current issue and restore the normal order in the country in accordance with law, Geng said. "will not interfere in the internal affairs of the This is also an important principle enshrined by UN charter. We support the government to properly resolve issues through dialogue and consultations with relevant parties and uphold independence, sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests of Maldives," Wang told Saeed according to Geng. "has offered self-less assistance to Maldives" for its social development, Wang said adding that the cooperation benefits all the peoples in However, it is not yet clear what is the takeaway from Saeed's visit. Asked how the can resolve the problem independently and unilaterally when top judges and leaders have been locked up by Yameen government, Geng retorted saying that "I think you should raise this question to government. How will they resolve their internal affairs (problems) you should ask them". "I want to emphasise that believes that the and people have the wisdom and capability to properly resolve the current issue faced them," he said To another question whether Saeed sought China's help to tide over the crisis, Geng said. "I can tell you that diplomatic channels between the two countries is smooth. and the maintain normal and friendly exchanges," he said views the as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean as it has already acquired Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.

First Published: Fri, February 09 2018. 16:14 IST