Maldives greets amicable ships as Chinese vessel sails to Male

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Chinese Research Vessel to Dock at Male, Maldives

The Maldivian government announced on Tuesday that the Chinese research vessel, Xiang Yang Hong 03, has been allowed to dock at Male. This comes after the Chinese government’s diplomatic request to grant their vessel the permission it requires for personnel rotation and replenishment. This was revealed in a statement from the Maldivian government, an information originating from Reader Wall’s sources.

Maldivian Openness to Vessels

The government’s statement emphasized their long-standing generosities towards vessels from friendly nations, allowing both civilian and military vessels to dock for peaceful objectives. This willingness to host vessels has been a prominent feature of Maldivian foreign policy.

The Current Scenario

This development has been brought to light amidst strained bilateral relations, following the election of President Mohamed Muizzu. The President has made attempts to foster closer ties with China since his election victory. India’s naval entities have been monitoring the Chinese vessel since it entered the Indian Ocean region via the Sunda Strait in Indonesia on Monday.

India’s Naval Surveillance

India’s navy has been vigilant regarding any regional activity in the Indian Ocean Region, especially that of Chinese vessels. Deploying warships at critical sea lanes and choke points are part of the Indian navy’s mission-based deployment model.

The Vessel’s Activities

Maldives government has confirmed that the vessel will not be conducting research in the Maldivian waters during its stay. These vessel visits serve to bolster bilateral relationships and reflect Maldivian ancient traditions of welcoming vessels from friendly nations. The Maldives also ensures adherence to international best practices and relevant maritime laws in these cases.

Docking Denial from Sri Lanka

The Xiang Yang Hong 03 is bound for Male after being denied docking permission from the Sri Lankan government.

India’s Engagement in Development Projects

India’s commitment to taking its development agenda with the Maldives forward was reaffirmed last week. This reassurance came amidst tension in bilateral ties following President Muizzu’s demand for the removal of all Indian military personnel stationed in the Indian Ocean archipelago by March 15. The demand was made when the high-level core group set up by their respective nations held its first meeting in Male on January 14. The next meeting will be held in India soon.

Dependence on India

President Muizzu announced several measures, aimed at reducing the Maldives’ reliance on India, after returning from a trip to China. The measures particularly focus on essential sectors like healthcare and food security.


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