|Topic: GS2 – International Relations – Bilateral Relations
This topic is relevant for Mains in the context of India- Maldives relations.
- President Muizzu, known for his proximity to China, campaigned on the promise of removing Indian defense services from Maldives.
- Post-election, he swiftly asserted his commitment to this pledge. After a meeting with PM Modi, Muizzu claimed India’s agreement to withdraw its “military personnel.”
- The passage highlights the ambiguity in the Indian statement, focusing on the establishment of a “core group” for various collaborations while staying silent on defense personnel withdrawal.
- Muizzu’s visit to China elevated the China-Maldives relationship to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.”
- The article suggests that China is leveraging the Maldives card with a committed partner, Muizzu, who makes provocative remarks about India.
- Muizzu’s statement upon return, asserting that a small country should not be bullied, is interpreted as a reference to India, indicating a clear alignment with China’s rhetoric against perceived bullying by larger nations.
- External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s meeting with his Maldivian counterpart aimed at finding mutually workable solutions and continued cooperation.
- The article underscores the need for India to balance respect for Maldives’ sovereignty with safeguarding its security interests.
- The challenge lies in preventing Maldives from becoming a base that threatens India’s security.
- The article advocates for India to draw clear red lines in the region, emphasizing strength while maintaining cooperative and non-interfering policies in line with the Modi doctrine of “sabka saath, sabka vikas.”.
- The article expands the discussion beyond Maldives, highlighting China’s historical use of Pakistan against India, its growing influence in Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka, and the delicate situation in Bangladesh.
- It also points out India’s historical challenges in decisively combating terrorism and the need to counter China’s economic dominance effectively.
- The article advocates for India to enunciate security red lines in the region, demonstrating strength and determination, while simultaneously adhering to the principles of inclusive development and non-interference.
- The Balakot airstrike of 2019 is cited as an example of India’s willingness to use coercive elements to counter terrorism, and the article calls for a similar approach in enforcing broader security red lines in the region.
|The China Factor in the Indian Ocean Region
|PYQ: Discuss the political developments in Maldives in the last two years. Should they be of any cause of concern to India? (200 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2013)
|Practice Question: Examine the evolving dynamics of India’s relations with Maldives in the context of President Mohamed Muizzu’s election and China’s increasing influence in the region. (200 words/12.5 m)