Ever since the Maldives Government prematurely terminated their contract with GMR in December 2012, relations between India and Maldives seem to have deteriorated. The termination has given rise to speculation that China may have persuaded the Maldivian government to terminate the contract so as to emerge as the main beneficiary with a Chinese company being made responsible for the running of the Male international airport. Just after the GMR fiasco, the Defence Minister of Maldives Mohamed Nazim proceeded to China on a five days visit at the invitation of the Chinese Minister of National Defence. Although the visit was pre planned, timing adds to the conjecture of a Chinese role in the Maldivian government’s decision to void the agreement.
India-Maldives relations were jostled again with the latter’s request to China for a soft loan of Rs. 250crore for an Information Technology (IT) infrastructure project. The mushrooming of Chinese telecom companies has raised concerns among Indian security agencies that the equipment used for infrastructure development could also be misused. Concurrent with developments in Maldives, China has been pushing hard to influence Maldives. With trade imperatives on mind, China is seeking to strengthen her relationship with this small island nation that lies astride her vital energy supply route through the Indian Ocean. Continue Reading..