Maldives crisis: How India, China are flexing muscles over the tiny island
A Chinese naval combat force that entered the Indian Ocean for the first time in four years may have helped deter an Indian intervention in the Maldives after its pro-China president imposed a state of emergency, according to military and diplomatic sources and analysts. India has traditionally been the biggest player in the tiny island chain 400 km (250 miles) to its south, and faced calls from Maldivesâ€™ opposition leaders last month to use force against President Abdulla Yameen to restore democracy. After the state of emergency was declared India - which sent troops to foil a coup in the Maldives three decades ago - moved aircraft and ships to its southern bases and put special forces on standby, two military sources in New Delhi said. But in the end, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held off from hard action, unwilling to entangle the military in a foreign country of 400,000 people, the sources said. Beijingâ€™s signals it would not look kindly on any foreign involvement in the Maldives where it is investing millions of dollars as part of its Belt and Road Initiative - backed up by its naval presence in the eastern Indian Ocean, may also have weighed against an intervention, security analysts said.
ARTICLE SOURCE â€“ BUSINESS STANDARD
Published on Mar 8, 2018