China continues defending Maldives regime as special envoy from Male meets FM

Beijing’s stout defence of the Maldivian regime came as President Abdulla Yameen’s special envoy met China’s foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing and briefed him.

world Updated: Feb 09, 2018 23:47 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
China,The Maldives,Abdulla Yameen
File photo of China’s foreign minister Wang Yi speaking at a news conference after the first China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Dialogue in Beijing on December 26, 2017. (Reuters)

China on Friday warned that no country should interfere in the Maldives in the name of resolving the ongoing political crisis as pressure from the world community mounted on President Abdulla Yameen to end a state of emergency.

Beijing’s stout defence of the Maldivian regime came as Yameen’s special envoy, economic development minister Mohamed Saeed, met foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing and briefed him about the developments in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Though it wasn’t officially mentioned, Saeed will be heading back to the Maldives on Saturday with a full assurance of China’s backing.

Saeed told Wang that the Maldives is capable independently resolving the turmoil, which began when Yameen refused to implement a Supreme Court order clearing former president Mohamed Nasheed of terror charges and freeing eight jailed opposition leaders.

Yameen has dispatched special envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to lobby for support in the face of growing international pressure to end the emergency he imposed on Monday and to free two detained Supreme Court judges.

At the regular briefing of the foreign ministry, spokesperson Geng Shuan reiterated China’s stance regarding non-interference in the internal affairs of a country. The world community should play a “constructive” role, Geng said when he was asked to comment on the phone conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump during which they discussed the Maldives.

“The international community should play a constructive role in promoting the stability and development (of Maldives) on the basis of respecting sovereignty...The Chinese side has so far provided selfless help to the economic and social development of the Maldives and the cooperation...has benefited all the people of the Maldives,” Geng said.

“The current situation is the Maldives’ internal affairs. Non-interference in the internal affairs is the basic guideline of international relations as set forth in the UN charter,” he said when asked about possible Indian intervention.

Referring to the meeting between Wang and Saeed, Geng said the Maldives’ President’s special envoy had “introduced the current situation in the Maldives and said that the government is committed to upholding the rule of law and social order and independently resolving the current issue and achieving national stability and development”.

Wang told Saeed that China is closely following the situation and believes the Maldives government and people have the ability to properly resolve the issue. China will not interfere in the Maldives' internal affairs, Wang said, noting that Beijing supports the Maldivian government's attempts to settle differences with other parties through dialogue and consultation.

Saeed said that the Maldivian government is committed to upholding the rule of law to guarantee stability. He also told Wang that the Maldives can protect Chinese nationals and institutions in the country.

First Published: Feb 09, 2018 18:56 IST