India Maldives: Relations between India and Maldives are very old. Whenever this neighboring country in the Indian Ocean has needed help, India has helped it further. India has also done the work of providing vaccines during the Covid pandemic and relief material during natural disasters. However, now the relations between the two countries have become a bit tense. The reason behind this is China, due to which Maldives has spoiled its friendship with India.
Actually, Mohammed Muizzu has taken oath as the President of Maldives. Within 24 hours of taking oath, he asked the Indian government to withdraw its troops from Maldives. Muizzu said that the people of Maldives have given him a strong mandate to say this to India. The most surprising thing was that Union Minister Kiren Rijiju attended the swearing-in ceremony of Muijju. During the meeting with Rijiju, Muizzu asked the Indian soldiers to leave Maldives.
How many Indian soldiers in Maldives?
According to media reports, 70 to 75 Indian soldiers are present in Maldives. The soldiers present here operate radar and surveillance aircraft. Indian warships also help Maldives by patrolling its economic zone. Not only this, but Indian aircraft also do medical evacuation work for the people of Maldives. Apart from this, work is also done here to stop drug trafficking in the country. Muizzu himself knows this.
Due to the presence of Indian soldiers, the tourism sector of Maldives also gets help. When international tourists are taken to remote areas of Maldives, they are assured that if any untoward incident happens, Indian soldiers will help them. This is the reason why sources have said that the governments of both the countries are working on finding a solution regarding the presence of Indian soldiers, so that Maldives continues to get the benefit of the presence of the soldiers.
Does China have a role in getting India out of Maldives?
According to the report of news agency AFP, President Muizzu is known as a pro-China leader. China has also set up many projects in Maldives. The thing to note here is that just a day before asking the Indian soldiers to leave, the President of Maldives met Shen Yiqin, the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Yiqin congratulated Muizzu on becoming President and said that he wants Maldives-China relations to be strengthened during his tenure.
This is the reason why the needle of suspicion is turning towards China. It is believed that somewhere the pro-China Muijju has been asked to do this by Beijing itself. China is already controlling Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. In such a situation, it now intends to build a base in Maldives, so that after the South China Sea, its position in the Indian Ocean can also be strengthened. One reason to doubt China is that the special envoy reached Male immediately after Muizzu was elected President.
Also read: What will Maldives take from China to remove Indian army? The dragon will not miss the chance!