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China retaliates allegations of “taking over” Maldives islands

Fathmath Shaahunaz
14 February 2018, MVT 10:58
Aerial shot of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge being developed between Male and Hulhule. PHOTO/ HOUSING MINISTER TWITTER
Fathmath Shaahunaz
14 February 2018, MVT 10:58

China on Tuesday declared that it was investing only in seven islands of the Maldives, hitting back at recent allegations that the Asian superpower had “taken over” several islands of the archipelago.

The statement released by the Chinese Embassy in capital Male was a rejoinder to recent claims by former President Mohamed Nasheed, who in interviews to foreign media had alleged that 17-18 islands of the Maldives were now under China’s power.

The Chinese Embassy pointed out that Chinese firms are investing in only seven islands of the Maldives, whereas the past four years of the current administration have seen companies of 30 nations investing in 124 islands. Statistically, China ranks sixth with its investments amounting to only 5.6 percent, the embassy highlighted.

Hence, China declared that Nasheed’s claims were fabrications.

The embassy went on to say that its investments for the development of the Maldives are proving fruitful for both nations, with socioeconomic advancements and better living standards for Maldivians.

China further highlighted that it had also invested in the Maldives during Nasheed’s regime, most notably in developing the “Laamu Link Road”, the causeway connecting four islands of Laamu atoll. Stating that Nasheed himself had experienced the benefits of China-Maldives ties and welcomed the economic and business advantages they entailed, the embassy questioned why the former president has abruptly changed his tune.

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