Beijing, Feb 8 (IANS) China on Thursday hinted it is opposed to any UN intervention in the Maldivian political crisis.
The UN Security Council will discuss the crisis in the Maldives where President Abdulla Yameen has imposed a state of Emergency and arrested Chief Justice and former head of state Abdul Gayoom.
“China has followed closely the situation in the Maldives. China thinks that the current situation and dispute in the Maldives are its internal affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said here.
“It should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultation by relevant parties. The international community should respect the Maldives sovereignty and territorial integrity and play a constructive role for the dialogue between the relevant parties,” Geng added.
He was answering to a question if China will support UN’s mediation in the crisis.
“China is willing to maintain close communication with relevant parties on the situation in the Maldives so as to restore the normal order as soon as possible,” Geng added.
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to the Maldivian government to lift the state of Emergency.
China – a permanent member of the Security Council — has already opposed any outside interference in the internal affairs of the Maldives after its former President Mohamed Nasheed repeatedly sought India’s military intervention in the Indian Ocean atoll nation.
Nasheed, a pro-India leader ousted in 2012, has accused China of grabbing land and backing Yameen.
Responding to Nasheed’s allegations, Geng said: “I think that kind of remarks is totally wrong. When Nasheed was President, China had offered assistance to the Maldives. The pragmatic cooperation had achieved a lot of outcomes. I don’t know whether Nasheed will regard such kind of cooperation as grabbing.
“China has not attached political strings to the political cooperation with the Maldives. China will never endanger the independence of the Maldives. China’s friendly cooperation is for all the people in the Maldives and it will serve the interests of the two countries.”
China has deep strategic interests in the Maldives, which sits close to the international shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean.
Last year, Yameen’s government signed a free-trade agreement with China and backed its ambitious Belt and Road project.
China is funding and building mega infrastructure projects, including the Friendship Bridge linking Male to Hulhule Island and a 1,000-apartment block.