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Business News/ News / World/  'China supports Maldives in...': What Beijing said as Indian troops begin withdrawing from island nation
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'China supports Maldives in...': What Beijing said as Indian troops begin withdrawing from island nation

Indian military troops reportedly began withdrawing from the Maldives after the Island country's President Mohamed Muizzu asked India to withdraw its forces. Here's how China reacted.

China's spokesperson Wang Wenbin reacts to Indian troops moving out of the Maldives. (@MFA_China/X)Premium
China's spokesperson Wang Wenbin reacts to Indian troops moving out of the Maldives. (@MFA_China/X)

China's spokesperson Wang Wenbin reportedly reacted to the first batch of Indian military personnel leaving the Maldives. He said, "China supports the Maldives in upholding its territorial sovereignty".

"China supports the Maldives in upholding its territorial sovereignty and having independent exchanges and cooperation with other countries," tweeted the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As per China's state media Global Times, Wenbin said this "in response to the reported departure of the first batch of Indian military personnel stationed in the Maldives".

Indian military troops, operating surveillance aircraft/helicopter in the Maldives, reportedly began withdrawing from the Maldives after the Island country's President Mohamed Muizzu asked India to withdraw its forces.

As many as 25 Indian troops deployed in the southernmost atoll of Addu had left Maldives on Sunday, ahead of the March 10 deadline, Mihaaru newspaper reported.

The Indian military personnel left the country after handing over the operations of the chopper to an Indian civilian crew, the Maldivian media reported on Monday.

ALSO READ: India slips to 6th rank on Maldives Tourism charts as President Mohamed Muizzu welcomes China

There was no official confirmation from the Maldivian or Indian authorities. However, Mihaaru claimed that the Maldivian National Defence Force confirmed about the withdrawal of Indian troops.

In January this year, Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu asked India to withdraw nearly 90 military personnel from the archipelago island. He later said no Indian military personnel, including those in civilian attire, would be permitted in his country after May 10.

China reacts

When asked for his comments on the first batch of the Indian military personnel's withdrawal from the Maldives, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said he was not aware of the specifics.

China supports the Maldives in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and carrying out friendly cooperation with all sides on the basis of independence," he said.

Beijing said Wednesday that a Chinese military delegation recently visited the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal to discuss further cooperation in defence issues.

In all three countries, "they exchanged views on military relations and regional security issues of common concern", the Chinese military was quoted by AFP as saying in a statement on its official WeChat account.

"A series of consensus was reached to further enriched defence cooperation between the PLA and the relevant countries," it added, referring to the Chinese military by its official acronym.

Last week, the Maldives said it had signed a "military assistance" deal with China. Under this deal, China will supply 'non-lethal' weapons to the Maldives free of cost.

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Published: 13 Mar 2024, 03:15 PM IST
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