China on Tuesday reacted cautiously to the political turmoil in Maldives and former President Mohamed Nasheed’s decision to seek refuge in the Indian mission in Male, hoping that the issue would be handled “properly”.

“The Chinese side sincerely hopes that Maldives could maintain peace, stability and development, and hopes and believes that relevant issue could be properly handled,” said the Foreign Ministry in brief written response to question from PTI here.

This is the first time Beijing reacted to the crisis, while the official media here reported the day-to-day developments unfolding in Male as well as New Delhi’s response.

China has expanded its influence in India’s backyard in recent years with aid and heavy investment both in Sri Lanka and Maldives. China opened its embassy in Male in 2011 which is one of the few diplomatic mission there along with those of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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