The Maldives signed a crucial free trade deal with China while endorsing its Maritime Silk Road project shunned by India for its strategic implications in the Indian Ocean. “China deems the Maldives as an important partner to building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR),” President Xi Jinping told his visiting Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Yameen as they witnessed the signing of 12 agreements, including the free trade agreement (FTA).
After acquiring Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port on a 99-year lease in a $1.1 billion debt swap deal, China has now roped in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation, located strategically in India’s backyard, to implement the MSR. China has also set up a ‘logistics base’ for its navy in Djibouti, also located in the Indian Ocean region in the
The Horn of Africa.
Fact sheet: Maldives
President: Abdulla Yameen
Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR)
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