Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu (centre) leaves his inauguration ceremony in Male on 17 November 2023. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

Ripples in Maldives-India relations: The China factor

Mohamed Muizzu, the newly elected president of the Maldives, seems to be pivoting away from India and moving closer to other sources of support, such as the Arab countries and China. With a wary eye on China's ambitions in the Indian Ocean, India is expected to push back strongly.
Maldives' President-elect Mohamed Muizzu (centre) of the People's National Congress (PNC) party delivers a speech during a gathering with supporters following the country's presidential election, in Male on 2 October 2023. (Mohamed Afrah/AFP)

Chinese academic: Will the new Maldives government shift from ‘India first’ to pro-China?

Following the recently concluded presidential election in the Maldives, the global community is observing how its foreign policy might change, particularly vis-a-vis India and China. Does having good relations with one side necessarily come at the expense of relations with the other? Chinese academic Guo Bingyun looks into the issue.
People's National Congress (PNC) candidate Mohamed Muizzu speaks during a press conference in Male on 30 September 2023. (Mohamed Afrah/AFP)

Presidential elections in the Maldives: Anti-India campaign, pro-China results?

While Mohamed Muizzu, largely seen as a pro-China candidate, emerged the winner in the Maldives’ recent presidential elections, this may not mean that all is lost for India, says academic Rishi Gupta.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) poses for a photograph with Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during their bilateral meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 9 January 2022. (Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters)

China's growing influence in the Indian Ocean: Wang Yi’s visit to Comoros, Sri Lanka and the Maldives

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s swing through three strategic island states — the Comoros, Maldives, and Sri Lanka — as part of his annual African tour at the beginning of January underlines China’s continuing quest for a larger role in the Indian Ocean. Are China’s economic incentives and themes of non-intervention and sovereign equality resonating with the Indian Ocean littoral at the expense of India and the US?
Small cargo boats docked by Male harbour, Maldives. (iStock)

Maldives: Even a tiny state in the Indo Pacific has a big role in China-US competition

The Maldives is well aware that it is of a geostrategic importance to powers seeking to dominate the Indian Ocean and what some term the Indo-Pacific. It has responded well to China’s overtures in the past, but with political pushback against China, and other suitors, not least India and the US, calling on its door, how best should it play its cards?