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China refutes Maldives ex-President's allegations

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Amid the raging political crisis in the Maldives, on Monday refuted allegations made by former Mohammed that is engaging in grabbing land in the archipelago nation.

"Recently, former Maldivian made a lot of false remarks in the Indian media.

"He pointed fingers at the practical cooperation between and and alleged that engaged in so-called 'land grabbing' of Maldivian islands, which undermines the security of the region," Ji Rong, of the here, said in a statement.

"These allegations are apparently groundless with no regard to facts."

In an interview to an Indian newspaper, sought India's help saying that the is currently faced with two problems: radical Islam and China's attempts at land grabbing.

He said that China now has 17 islands in that country and talking about investing $40 million but the purpose for this was not known.

He said that this problem was a not a bilateral one but multilateral and sought India's intervention.

Nasheed's comments come amid the current political crisis and after Maldives rushed through Parliament a free trade agreement with China last year, which raised eyebrows in as it went against Male's "First" policy.

has traditionally held influence in the atoll nation where China has been trying to make inroads because of the country's strategic location.

Experts say the Maldivian crisis could well become a new power struggle between and China.

Ji, in his statement, said that in recent years, "on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China and the Maldives have been cooperating on infrastructure and livelihood projects, which has played a positive role in transforming and upgrading the latter's economy and improving its people's livelihood" and these measures have been "widely welcomed" by the Maldivian people".

"As a matter of fact, when Nasheed was the President, China and Maldives have already launched relevant cooperation projects. The 'land grabbing' allegation by Nasheed is apparently meant to serve certain political purposes of him."

The Maldives has plunged into a crisis with President Yameen declaring a state of emergency and arresting the and a former head of state, after the termed as unjust the imprisonment of nine MPs and Nasheed who is in exile.

Yameen sent special envoys to China, and even as politely declined to host the Maldivian

Ji also reiterated China's stand that the current situation in Maldives is its "internal affair" and "should be properly resolved through dialogue and negotiation by various parties in the country" as the and people have the "wisdom and ability to properly handle the problems they face and restore order".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 12 2018. 21:48 IST