China rejects UN role, offers mediation in Maldives

China rejects UN role, offers mediation in Maldives

SAM Staff,
The under-construction China Maldives Friendship Bridge is pictured near the archipelago’s Capital of Male on February 8, 2018. Photo: AFP

China on Thursday (Feb 8) rejected United Nations’ intervention to resolve the crisis in Maldives, but offered to mediate between the feuding parties in the archipelago.

Asked to comment on China’s position on a possible UN role to resolve the on-going tensions in Maldives, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said: “China has always closely followed the development of the situation in the Maldives. China thinks that the current situation and disputes in Maldives belongs to its internal affairs. It should be properly resolved through dialogue and consultation by the relevant parties. The international community should respect Maldives’ sovereignty and territorial integrity and play a constructive role for the dialogue between the relevant parties.”

In response to a supplementary question, the spokesperson said that the international community should “provide support and [offer] convenience for a dialogue between the relevant parties and play a constructive role in this aspect.”

Nearly a week after the logjam in Maldives, which has brought the government led by Abdulla Yameen and the opposition headed by former President Mohamed Nasheed at loggerheads, China has offered to mediate to end the crisis.

“China is willing to maintain close communication with the relevant parties in Maldives so as to promote [and] restore normal order in the Maldives as soon as possible,” Geng said.

The spokesperson did not clarify whether China was also in touch with the opposition as well, but pointed out that Beijing was “maintaining close communication with the relevant parties in the Maldives”. He also rejected the cited remarks of Nasheed that Beijing had enforced a “land grab” in the island state. He also stressed that China has never attached “political strings” to cooperation with Maldives.

Geng’s remarks precede the arrival later on Thursday of Maldivian Minister for Economic Development Mohamed Saeed, as the President’s special envoy.