India denies having discussed New Silk Road initiative with China

The Indian government has moved to correct suggestions made in the Maldives’ parliament last week that it had discussed joining China’s New Silk Road initiative.

When asked about the potential impact of the scheme on India-Maldives relations, foreign minister Dunya Maumoon had told MPs that India had also discussed participating during the recent state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinpeng.

In order to clarify the issue, Indian diplomats in Malé have released a statement in which India’s External Affairs Ministry denies such talks having taken place.

“[T]his matter was neither raised, nor discussed, nor is it reflected in any of the outcomes of the visit of President Xi Jinping to India,” the ministry official told Indian media on Thursday (November 6).

“I hope that clarifies that this was neither raised, nor discussed, nor is it reflected in any of the outcome documents available publicly on the visit of President Xi Jinping to India.”

President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jingpeng has received positive responses from President Abdulla Yameen to his calls for the Maldives “to get actively involved” in the creation of a maritime trade route linking China to the east coast of Africa and the Mediterranean.

China’s rising economic presence in the Indian Ocean region has stoked concerns in New Delhi that China is creating a “string of pearls” to encircle India, including Chinese investments in ports and other key projects in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

In response to opposition fears over the impact on neighbouring countries, Dunya told the Majlis that the government always remained mindful of regional security.

“His Excellency Xi Jinping visited India. India very much welcomed his visit and they discussed participating in various initiatives of China and participating in the Silk Route,” said Dunya.

However, the minister made clear that the Maldives, as a sovereign nation, was not compelled to consult with others on foreign policy decisions.

The government decided to participate in the Silk Route initiative as it would promote national interest and benefit the Maldivian people through trade and commerce, she said.

The rise in Sino-Maldivian links over the past three years appears to have coincided with a relative cooling of relations between the Maldives’ and its traditional ally, India.

While Chinese tourists make up around one-third of the one million-plus tourists visiting the Maldives each year, developmental aid is increasingly becoming a key feature of the relationship.

As Chinese companies pledge assistance with major infrastructure projects, Indian companies continue to fall foul of the Maldives’ changing political currents.

President Xi Jinpeng became the first Chinese head of state to visit the Maldives in September, as part of a regional tour which also took in Tajikistan, Sri Lanka, and India. A number of agreements, including a preliminary deal to redevelop Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), were signed during the stop in Malé.

The new INIA agreement comes as the previous developers, India’s GMR, wait to hear how much they are to receive in damages after a Singapore arbitration court ruled their prematurely terminated contract with the Government of Maldives to have been “valid and binding”.


12 thoughts on “India denies having discussed New Silk Road initiative with China”

  1. DMAG spoke without checking the facts and out of political greed. She oughta resign over this.Shame.

  2. We do not need to get approval from India to join silk route .?

    We are independent country and we need to support the countries who support us and not the country who bully us.

  3. I can't see why Maldivians are so excited about the New Silk Road. Apart from tuna, you have nothing to trade and your industrial capacity is zilch.
    All India needs to do is restrict medical and study visas and stop the export of Indian goods (90% of your daily requirements are cheaply obtained from India) and it will be panic, panic, panic in the atolls. Be ever grateful.
    Are there any palm trees left in Male? Best to chop down ALL trees and save your president from black magic and the evil eye.
    Like I said.....backward and unsophisticated.

  4. Miss-India-Agrawal-the-thug should stay away from even being on this site. Leave the peaceful people of Maldives to mind their own business. Maldivians do not want another Rajiv Gandhi again to ready troops in Agra to exercise mopping up operations in the Maldives after directing bunch of terrorists to the Maldives who were taken care of by Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka

  5. MissIndia NewDelhi is too dumb to comment on Indian news websites that she has to come here. I say let her have her fun.

  6. Madrasa graduates holding Phd doctorates in 'Sunni Islam Will Dominate The World' should move to Dhivehi or Arabic websites instead of commenting in gobbledegook here. Leave this space for educated people with a functioning brain.
    This comment also applies to members of the Islamic Ministry, Imams, Mullahs, Religious Scholars, Jihadis, people wearing white skull caps and those with henna dyed beards.

  7. MissIndiaAgrawaltheThug and the Indian version of PIJIN English. The British Raj took over 200 years to teach them their version of English and they got fed-up and left the country.Try invite them again and become a genetically improved rather focussing on peaceful Maldivians living in the most beautiful country of the world.

  8. Miss India, Delhi has clearly bungled and lost Maldives. When will South Block wake up? attacking a people and their faith doesn't look like a very "educated" way of handling the issue to me. Maldivians may be idiots. they may be backward. but India stopped visas for a while and Maldivians have found their own way. Even if u stopped export of vegetables or river sand or pharmaceuticals Maldivians will find they own way. truing to portray yourselves as bullies serves no purpose. you don't even seem able to retain the "Indian" in the Indian Ocean. LMAO


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