“Without U.N. empowerment, there would be no righteous cause for any armed force to intervene. China will not interfere in the internal affairs of the Maldives, but that does not mean that Beijing will sit idly by as New Delhi breaks the principle. If India one-sidedly sends troops to the Maldives, China will take action to stop New Delhi,” the daily said in an op-ed.
It warned that, “India should not underestimate China’s opposition to unilateral military intervention.”
The article linking China’s “action” only as a response to India’s possible military intervention follows signals from the Chinese officialdom that Beijing does not want to exacerbate tensions with India over the Maldives issue.
“It [the Maldives development] should not become another problem [between China and India],” an official source told The Hindu last Thursday.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang quoted Foreign Minister Wang Yi following his meeting with Mohamed Saeed, the special envoy of Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen on Thursday that “China will not interfere in the internal affairs of the Maldives”.
A diplomatic source said in a conversation with The Hindu that the two visits in December to India- by Mr. Wang and state councilor and politburo member Yang Jiechi had built on the “fresh start” talks in September between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the BRICS summit in Xiamen.
The meeting took place soon after the Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim sector was defused.
In a timely gesture, the Chinese side has re-opened the gates of the Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrimage for Indian travelers through Nathu La in Sikkim . The route was closed last year in the wake of the Doklam face-off.
The Global Times op-ed counseled India to “exercise restraint” in view of the “tense situation” in Male. “This is the country’s internal affairs and China firmly opposes outside interference. More than that, China should take necessary measures to stop India if New Delhi moves to intervene militarily”, the daily observed.
The latest crisis in Maldives unfolded earlier this month, when the Yameen administration imposed an emergency in defiance of the Supreme Court ruling that quashed the conviction of opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed, and ordered the release of 12 jailed parliamentarians. (Courtesy The Hindu)