Defence Minister departs on official visit to China

Minister of Defence and National Security Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim departed to China today on an official five-day visit at the invitation of the Chinese Minister of National Defence.

In a press release today, the Defence Ministry revealed that Nazim is due to hold official talks with the Chinese Minister of National Defence General Liang Guanglie and meet members of the Chinese central military commission.

“During his visit, the Defence Minister will hold meetings with China’s National Defence University, Military Medical University and Shanghai Institute for International Studies as part of his efforts to seek further opportunities for education in China,” the press release stated.

The official visit would further enhance Sino-Maldives “defence and military ties” and secure Chinese assistance for developing the Maldivian military, the Defence Ministry said.

The Defence Minister’s official visit to China follows last week’s termination by the government of a 25-year concession agreement with Indian infrastructure giant GMR to modernise and manage the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA).

The move fuelled speculation in the Indian media of a Chinese role in the government’s decision to void the agreement and evict the GMR-led consortium.

“Looking at the political situation and political framework in Maldives, I can’t rule out anything,” GMR Airports chief financial officer ( CFO) Sidharth Kapur told journalists in New Delhi last week.

In November 2011, China became the first non-SAARC nation to open an embassy in the Maldives. AFP at the time reported Indian officials as expressing concern that it was “part of a Chinese policy to throw a ‘string of pearls’ – or a circle of influence – around India.”

Meanwhile, the Hindu reported today that President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik has dismissed suggestions that China urged the Maldives to push out the Indian company.

“The only significant cooperation we have with China at this time is through development assistance… like building the museum, housing projects. I don’t think India should worry about it at all,” Waheed was quoted as saying.

The President further claimed that the Maldives was presently “not looking for a foreign investor” to develop the international airport, with the government yesterday announcing it was undecided on whether any new privatisation agreement would be sought in future.

However, officials from India’s External Affairs Ministry told the Indian Express on condition of anonymity that “China was keen to get a foothold in the Male’ airport asset as a base in the Maldives would put the dragon state in control of the oil routes in the region and give it greater dominance over sea lanes.”

India’s Economic Times meanwhile characterised the cancellation of the contract as a “strategic loss” for India.

Following an official visit in August, President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik told Reuters that China pledged to grant the Maldives US$500 million (MVR 7.7 billion) in loans, equal to nearly one quarter of the Maldives’ GDP.

President’s Office Spokesperson Masood Imad told The Hindu a day before the airport handover that the government would again float a tender for its modernisation “and get more parties in to take the work forward.”

“The tender will be floated by the Maldives government in a transparent manner and after consulting investors. The mistakes made during the float of the tender which has been cancelled will not be repeated,” Imad told the paper.

Environment Minister Dr Mariyam Shakeela has meanwhile separately appealed to China for financial and technical support, telling journalists from the Chinese government’s authorised web portal that the Maldives “needs funds for infrastructure building.”

“We are obviously in need of funds and technical assistance as we do not have the financial means, the technical know-how or the capacity to address these huge climate change issues,” said Dr Shakeela, in an appeal for assistance with climate adaptation.

Minivan News has learned that senior Chinese military officials landed at the airport in the tense week leading up to the handover.


12 thoughts on “Defence Minister departs on official visit to China”

  1. Baghee Nazim is going to China to bring money to pay this months staff salary.

    Hope you are carying enough suitcases to put money. And remember to buy rice and flour to feed the people.

  2. Oh well, he is trying to get a Chinese party to run the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.

  3. Nothing wrong with this. I think leaders from all around the world pay homage to the world's fastest growing economy and a rising global power. Maldives is no exception. It would be foolish to assume that the Maldives will remain exclusively under India's whim.

    As a sovereign country, Maldives should establish and improve ties with all countries, especially an economic powerhouse like China which could provide funds for infrastructure development and other projects. Last year China announced that it would provide close to $1 billion in investments for the Caribbean - the backyard of the United States.

    So, I really don't see a problem in Maldives appeasing the Chinese, isn't that what everybody is doing nowadays including the Americans and the Europeans?

  4. Chinese people reading this post should go and hide.......the Maldivians are coming to beg for money.

  5. ook.. now the picture is a bit clear... our govt is afraid of india going against us so we are trying to sell part of our corporate administration... tell u a small history bout Maldives.

    start from how we became muslims. the story the country knows is; that there was a monster for whom virgins were required to be sacrificed. so everynight or the week of night, a girl was kept in a tent near the beach and by morning, the gal was raped and killed.ofcz v didnt have myns to say it a rape. along comes Abu al Barakat ul Barbari, knows muslim scholar who was confident that if it was a moster, the QURAN would stop it. he wore the clothes of a woman and crept in the tent.along came the hard p*****d king who had no other option to adopt islam or die. I heard this bugger became muslim but fled to indian maharaja bek then tried sereveral times to take over maldives until his end..

    now lets see about first president. Mr. Mohamed ameen dhoshinaga kilegefaanu. again nother hard p***k. married to countless pple..first women movement in maldives...and I mean WOMEN MOVEMENT...but unfortunately lost his p***k to the people. it was jerked off and he was thrown to an island where he eventualy died. The noncompetitive and un civilized men couldnt take his competence.

    A small word about Mr. Nasir, who left the country after after leaving office as founder of second republic. I am sure his soul will only have one regret that he served the country. His entire family shud i say..,, facing accidental deaths.

    number 3rd on our list is the one and only Mr. Gayyoon.. who bled maldives as he wished and ruled under then justified system for 30 years with Maldives not seeing the brighter side of development.

    Anni/Waheed later became Waheed/no-anni and the country is being coiled in a cold war within parties and its reps.. so my advice is,,, china., if you are investing, please consider that your fate might be the same fate as India..

    There was a time cowry shells were a form of money.and the maldives beaches were full of sacks of it. but we didnt prosper becz the money was used by our kings for all splendor their hearts desired. as is today, and will not change in the next 10 days as much for the corruption in the country.

  6. and can you please remove that picture from this article?? i just hate the face of that man... look at it,, all u will see is hate, cheat and fraud. some pple just have it on his face.. I am sorry Mr. Nazim but thats my point of view on your appearance. try a surgery fo F sake

  7. welcome to shanghai, minister, we have pretty girls to keep you warm and cozy this wintry nights and lots of pork and ham for breakfast...and oh yes...lots of American green-backs printed locally at half rate for your civil servants salaries...and then of course we want to install our surveillance radars at Gan and not the Indians or the Americans who are also interested

  8. Interesting that some people think India needs a 'wake up call'.

    The small minded Maldivain (i.e., MDP top brass) thinks that they should actually WAKE UP India and REMIND India many things.

    Do you think Indian diplomats and analyst sleep all day? Gimme a break

  9. "Minivan News has learned that senior Chinese military officials landed at the airport in the tense week leading up to the handover."

    Minivan news editors: please be responsible or professional when you make such reports.

    Please verify your source of information or we can simply take that your have been habitually/intentionally cooking up stories just to foolish people.


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