Chief of Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), Major General Abdulla Shamaal declared Friday that there is no Chinese military presence in Maldives despite the country's strong economy.
Indian media Strategic News International (SNI) reported that during his ongoing visit to India, Shamaal affirmed that China provides aid to many countries around the world.
Additionally, Shamaal stated that Maldives has established business relations between the country and India as well as with China.
He further noted that Maldives and Sri Lanka also established business relations with China and described that the country expanded its economy drastically.
Maldives held a very close connection with China during former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's administration, which resulted in the country extending aid for many local projects. This includes the development of Sinamale' Bridge linking capital city Male' to reclaimed suburb Hulhumale' and the Link Road connecting all islands of Laamu Atoll.
According to Shamaal, Maldives is dependant on several countries, which is a matter of national security that is unavoidable. However, he noted that it was important for Maldives to attain aid from other countries in securing our country from threats.
In response to questions regarding rumours of the establishment of a Chinese military base in Maldives, Shamaal said, "Maldives must work in collaboration with other countries for several purposes. We cannot stay isolated".
Shamaal had previously declared that there are no plans to allow opportunity for foreign countries to establish military headquarters.
He previously denied speculations that 'Uthuru Thila Falhu' project would be contracted to India by stating that there are plans to utilise the area to dock and for maintenance of Coast Guard naval boats.
Moreover, he identified that Maldives' vast ocean territory is also another reason that mandates foreign aid to secure borders.
Shamaal further revealed that work is underway to enhance security in areas such as resorts after the terrorist bomb attacks that occurred in Sri Lanka on April 21.
"Police are undertaking a leadership role in working together with other relevant institutions to evaluate security protocols in resorts".
In an interview held in November 2018, Minister of Defence Mariya Ahmed Didi declared that continued military relations with China is contingent on allowing them to establish a headquarters in Maldives. She, however, affirmed that the incumbent administration does not have any such plans.