China confident Maldives will find own solution, as Nasheed reaches out to India

China’s emphasis on seeking a domestically driven breakthrough follows a call by the former Maldivian President, Mohammed Nasheed, for India’s support in the release of political prisoners.

February 06, 2018 06:47 pm | Updated 06:55 pm IST

 File photo: Former Maldives President, Mohamed Nasheed during an interview with The Hindu.

File photo: Former Maldives President, Mohamed Nasheed during an interview with The Hindu.

China on Tuesday expressed confidence that the escalating political crisis in Maldives will find a home-grown solution.

"We believe the Maldives government and political parties have the wisdom and the capability to deal with the current situation on their own," Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said during his regular media briefing.

"We hope relevant parties can properly resolve the differences through dialogue and consultation and restore normal order as soon as possible and maintain national and social stability," he added.

China’s emphasis on seeking a domestically driven breakthrough follows a call by the former Maldivian President, Mohammed Nasheed, for India’s support in the release of political prisoners, who remain behind bars, in defiance of a ruling by the apex court in Male.

In a statement, posted on Twitter, Mr. Nasheed appealed to New Delhi to send an envoy, backed by the military, to the strategically vital Indian Ocean nation.

He also sought Washington’s help for imposing restrictions on the movement of funds of the Maldivian leaders, through US banks.

The political crisis in Maldives began to unfold on Friday after the country’s Supreme Court ruled, that the trial of the Mr. Nasheed was unconstitutional. The court also ordered the release of nine law makers - a step that could have restored the opposition’s majority in parliament, threatening the survival of the government of President Abdulla Yameen, known to be close to China.

The government has subsequently declared a state of emergency, followed by the detention of the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The country’s former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has also been taken into custody.

In view of the uncertain situation, Mr. Geng said that the Chinese Foreign Ministry “had adjusted the security alert level and asked the Chinese citizens to closely follow the local situation and not to travel to Maldives".

"If they have plans to go to the Maldives we advise them to cancel it.”

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