China is looking to establish an ocean observatory station in one of the island that is near to India cost line. It is not only a mere observer, but is capable of military application and submarine base. Though China sources denied, it was reported a week ago that 11 Chinese warships sailed towards Maldives in spite of current emergency situation in Maldives. This proves the fact that the ocean station is a threat to India’s interests in Indian ocean.
Meanwhile, despite multiple requests from Nasheed, the opposition leader in Maldives, India is currently in helpless situation to proceed with Military intervention. Any aggression from India’s side in spite of global support, would bring direct conflict with China in current situation.
(image courtesy : maldivestimes.com)
Maldives is the second country to sign the Free Trade Agreement with China in December 2017, after Pakistan. Maldives now supports for Maritime Silk Route as part of the Belt and Road Initiative of China. Adding with the new observatory station planned, it would be difficult for India to dare anything in Maldives that is strategically located in Indian Ocean.
It was a great thought to have all 10 heads of Asian heads on single dais to witness the Republic day parade, but standing by what we say and protect the people of our neighborhood during crisis situation is really a litmus test to our integrity. While we partially succeeded in case of Doklam in Bhutan, Maldives situation is relatively tougher situation to deal with.