After the controversial legislation of allowing foreign ownership of land was passed by the Maldives, it led to concerns among the opposition party MDP as well as India on whether the new legislation would give China access to build a military base in the island nation. While the legislation sent alarm bells ringing in the security establishment in New Delhi, the Maldives assured India that it would not allow any of its land to be used for setting up of a military base in the region and destabilise security in the region.
Clearing the air on the new legislation passed by the Maldives, China’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying, “China has always respected and supported the Maldives’ efforts to maintain its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.” the ministry said. “What the relevant people said about China building bases in the Maldives is totally baseless,” it added.
China, while wanting to maintain good relations with the Maldives, stated that the legislation passed was an internal matter of the Indian Ocean atoll country. India, which has forged a multi-layered relationship with the Maldives, has been concerned about the growing assertion by China in the Indian Ocean and its involvement in building a network of ports in the region.
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