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Home > News > World News > Article > Maldives President arrives in China amid row with India set to sign various agreements

Maldives President arrives in China amid row with India, set to sign various agreements

Updated on: 08 January,2024 04:09 PM IST  |  Beijing
mid-day online correspondent |

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu arrived in Beijing on Monday for a five-day state visit, aiming to hold discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping and finalize multiple agreements to strengthen bilateral ties.

Maldives President arrives in China amid row with India, set to sign various agreements

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Mohamed being welcomed upon their arrival in People’s Republic of China, on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. PTI Photo

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu arrived in Beijing on Monday for a five-day state visit, aiming to hold discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping and finalize multiple agreements to strengthen bilateral ties.


Regarded as "pro-China," Maldives President Muizzu, accompanied by his wife Sajidha Mohamed and a high-level delegation, received a warm welcome from senior Chinese officials upon arrival, newswire PTI reported.


Despite being Muizzu's first visit to China, the diplomatic atmosphere is overshadowed by a recent dispute triggered by derogatory remarks against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi by some Maldivian ministers. This follows Modi's video post featuring a pristine beach in Lakshadweep, which led to the summoning of the Maldivian envoy to India by the external affairs ministry.


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that Maldives President Muizzu's visit marks a new historical starting point in China-Maldives relations. The visit is expected to include official talks and the signing of crucial agreements to enhance trade, professional development, and socioeconomic cooperation between the two nations, as per a press release from the Maldivian President's Office.

The agenda also covers collaborations in technology and other sectors, with Muizzu participating in the Invest Maldives Forum in Fuzhou, China. Additionally, meetings with senior Chinese business leaders are scheduled to explore opportunities for strengthening socioeconomic relations.

Also read: "Unacceptable": Maldives Foreign Minister on remarks against PM Modi

In a departure from the practice of his predecessors, Muizzu chose Turkey as his first foreign destination, followed by the UAE, where he met Prime Minister Modi and discussed bilateral ties. Despite historical ties with India and China, Muizzu's foreign policy seems to be evolving, with recent developments such as the withdrawal of Indian military personnel, a review of bilateral agreements, and the abandonment of a hydrographic survey agreement with India.

China has increased its influence in the Maldives through infrastructure projects, primarily under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While Muizzu's predecessor, President Yameen, had close ties with China, Muizzu has distanced himself, leading to political tensions within the Maldives.

The Maldives holds strategic importance for India due to its proximity, being just 70 nautical miles from Lakshadweep and 300 nautical miles from the mainland's western coast. It plays a key role in India's initiatives like "SAGAR" (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the "Neighbourhood First Policy" of the Modi government. (With inputs from agencies)

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