Deteriorating relations between India and Maldives, what is the reason? Let us know. For the past few days, relations between India and Maldives are not going well, due to which everyone’s attention is being drawn to every decision taken by both the countries. Experts are analyzing which decision of India and Maldives will bring benefits and losses to which country strategically, tactically, diplomatically, politically and economically. Relations between the two countries are not going very well, the main reason for which is that The reason is as follows-
Table of Contents: Deteriorating relations between India and Maldives
Relations between India and Maldives
Soon after the elections in Maldives, the attitude of Maldives started changing as soon as there was a change of power. Before the elections, there was the government of Ibrahim Mohammed Solih (2018- 2023) which was India-oriented but currently there is the government of Progressive Party of Maldives headed by Mohammed Moizzu who is a supporter of China. During his election campaign, Mohammad Moizzu asked for votes from the public that if our government is formed then we will send back the Indian Army.
After the formation of Mohammad Moizzu’s government, anti-India decisions were taken one after the other, which are as follows-
- Decision related to withdrawal of Indian Army from Maldives
- Cancellation of Hygraphic Survey’s agreement with India
- Mohammed Moizzu giving priority to China over India as President’s foreign trip
Decision related to withdrawal of Indian Army from Maldives
Mohammad Moizzu had raised the slogan of “India Out” during the presidential election campaign that Indian soldiers in Maldives would be sent back to their country India. This issue was raised during the meeting with the Earth Sciences Minister of India, Shri Kiren Rijiju, who was attending the swearing-in ceremony of the President on behalf of India. At the same time, this issue was raised during the meeting with the Prime Minister during the Conference of Parties (COP 28) related to climate change held in Dubai. According to the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), there are a total of 77 Indian soldiers who are involved in maintaining the Dhruv helicopters leased by India in 2013 and 1 Dornier aircraft in 2020 and providing training to the pilots who can conduct surveillance in the Indian Ocean. And working in medical transport. All the expenses incurred on the above are borne by the Government of India, the full benefit of which goes to Maldives.
Cancellation of Hygraphic Survey’s agreement with India
During the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Maldives on 08 June 2019, a water agreement was signed between Maldives and India with the then government of Ibrahim Mohammed Solih. Which is known as Hygraphic Survey Agreement, which is to be renewed on 07 June 2024. The Government of Maldives has decided to terminate the Hygrographic Survey Agreement with India. Under this Hydrographic Survey Agreement, India had the rights to conduct hydrographic survey of the territorial waters of Maldives, study and chart the reefs, lagoons, beaches, ocean currents and tide levels of those places. Maldives has asked to terminate this agreement citing the country’s sovereignty and confidentiality.
Mohammed Moizzu giving priority to China over India as President’s foreign trip
The first foreign visit of Mohammed Moizzu after becoming the President of Maldives was to Turkey where it was talked about opening the Embassy of Maldives. Although official visits by any country to foreign countries are independent according to the diplomatic, economic and political needs of that country, but the intentions of any country can be ascertained through foreign visits. After Turkey, Maldives’ foreign visit to China instead of India shows Maldives’ orientation towards China, which questions the previously established relations between India and Maldives. Everyone’s eyes are fixed on the meeting being held between Maldives and China to see how much this meeting will deepen the relations between China and Maldives and how much the distance from India will increase.
What is the important role of Maldives for India and China?
Maldives is geographically important for India because Maldives is an archipelago country located in the Indian Ocean in the Indian subcontinent. It is situated in the south-west of Sri Lanka and India, about 750 kilometers away from the mainland of the Asian continent. Maldives is strategically important for India because its position as an ally country is right to keep an eye on the Indian Ocean. There is a shipping lane close to the archipelago of Maldives which provides continuous supply of energy to countries like China, Japan and India.
Under China’s expansionist policy, it tries to surround India from all sides like-
- Deep relations between Pakistan and China in which China always provides military and economic help to Pakistan, the biggest of which is the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor project. If experts are to be believed then it is Pakistan who is at loss and China is taking double benefit out of it.
- Bangladesh also gets arms, aircraft, submarines, warships, pipelines for energy, Chinese investment in the form of Payra port.
- China’s influence on Hambantota port in Sri Lanka .
- China will benefit from the recent deterioration in India’s relations with Maldives .
Due to the above reasons, relations between India and Maldives are deteriorating.