Participation in Silk Road initiative would threaten Indian Ocean security, contends Nasheed

The Maldives’ participation in the Chinese ’21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ initiative would threaten regional security in the Indian Ocean, contends former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Speaking at a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally last night, the opposition leader said President Abdulla Yameen was heading towards disrupting regional security with his willingness to participate in the silk route initiative, which passes through the Maldives.

“There’s no need for a route of a particular people here. This country belongs to Maldivians,” he said, noting that traders from many countries have visited the Maldives for thousands of years.

The Maldives throughout its long history has served the Indian Ocean and people from various countries, including China, Nasheed continued, who were welcome to visit and dock their vessels in the country.

The Maldives should not participate in an initiative to facilitate trade and growth of a specific nation, he said.

According to China’s Xinhua News Agency, the Maritime Silk Road – linking China to the east coast of Africa and the Mediterranean – and a separate overland Silk Road will bring “new opportunities and a new future to China and every country along the road that is seeking to develop.”

The Maldives welcomes and supports the proposal put forward by China to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and is prepared to actively participate in relevant cooperation,” read a joint communique issued during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent state visit.

President Yameen also told the press that the Maldives was “honoured to now feature among China’s partners in building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road – a unique vision of President Xi, which will bring Asian neighbours closer together.”

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

Asked if closer ties with China would adversely impact relations with India or Japan, President Yameen told reporters upon returning from a visit to China in August that Sino-Maldives economic cooperation would not affect “the very friendly, close relations with India”.

“All these projects are also open to India and we are doing a lot of diplomatic work with India,” he said, referring to his administration’s decision not to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States as an example of cooperation.

Nasheed went on to say that the Maldives should ensure its independence as well as the regional security of the Indian Ocean, which was a longstanding duty of Maldivian leaders.

“For hundreds of years, leader after leader has upheld the interest of the Maldives along with the security of the Indian Ocean,” he said.

President Yameen’s willingness to participate in the initiative would mark a shift in non-aligned foreign policy, he added, calling on the president to reconsider the decision.

A “responsible Maldivian leader” would not jeopardise the country’s security by risking being caught in the middle of war or disputes between great powers, Nasheed said.

Maldivian foreign policy should not seek to benefit from strife and discord, he added.

“In my view, we should not under any circumstances base our foreign policy on playing or turning one nation against another,” he said.


6 thoughts on “Participation in Silk Road initiative would threaten Indian Ocean security, contends Nasheed”

  1. “For hundreds of years, leader after leader has upheld the interest of the Maldives..."

    Oh really? That's news to me. Who are those leaders? Can we have their names? As far as I knew, all leaders of Maldivians, so far only looked after THEMSELVES! History is the best judge of this. If they had to sell Maldives to get themselves rich, they did so.

    Don't lie Mr Nasheed. Maldivian leaders have always been a greedy, self centered, egotistical nutters. Wonder why this country is in the state it is!

  2. The Petro Yuan cometh.

    Which ever way Maldives stands tensions would be brewing between South Asia's major power India and China. Maldives being the size it is, it has to depend on a strong reserve currency. The shift would take a decade no doubt. We could even see a economic cold war sort of struggle with US and close allies trying to prevent a petro Yuan gaining a reserve currency dominance.

    "History and logic caution that current practices are not set in stone. With the rise of the “petroyuan,” movement towards a less dollar-centric currency regime in international energy markets—with potentially serious implications for the dollar’s broader standing—is already underway.

    As China has emerged as a major player on the global energy scene, it has also embarked on an extended campaign to internationalise its currency. A rising share of China’s external trade is being denominated and settled in renminbi; issuance of renminbi-denominated financial instruments is growing. China is pursuing a protracted process of capital account liberalisation essential to full renminbi internationalisation, and is allowing more exchange rate flexibility for the yuan. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) now has swap arrangements with over thirty other central banks—meaning that renminbi already effectively functions as a reserve currency."

  3. Of course MSR will be bad according to Mr.Nasheed. Hope people abroad in the west take notice of his efforts to sound relevant.

  4. who is this guy to criticize on this ?

    THis guy had sold our airport to GMR for peanuts after taking millions of dollars from GMR as a cut for him.

    Dhiraagu shares were sold for nothing and just to get quick bucks.

    MWSC shares were sold for nothing except getting few bucks for himself,

    These few example of the mega deals he has done during his power and these companies were making good profit for the country when it was sold.

    We also know how GMR actions were from the moment that they got airport.

    We have also seen what was mentioned in Indian media after removal of Gmr and their concerns .

    Thier concerns were of losing control on Maldives and was saying it was strategically important gate way for India.

    Nasheed, even you try to create hatred against Maldives by using names of other countries and playing dirty politics for your own benefit is not to make to become the president of this nation.

    No country can put you as a president of Maldives and we the Maldivian will be deciding who will be our president.

    You can continue to boycott our tourism , you can talk about what ever you feels that it will damage this country reputation and image, please continue to do. We know you don't have a good intension for this nation and you are selfish and greedy man for power.

    You are using democracy name for your personal gain and not for the people benefit.

  5. Yes, MIss-India-Agrawal-the-thug. Agrawal-the-Thug needed to be in the asylum in India together with with you locked up for ever.


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