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China’s increasing new developments in Maldives a cause of threat says Pentagon

China’s increasing new developments in Maldives a cause of threat says Pentagon

Washington: China’s increasing developments in the Maldives, meddling with its internal affairs and engaging in massive land grabbing is causing a huge concern for the US says the Pentagon.

The Pentagon stated anything other than Indo-pacific rules-based order is US’s concern.

“The US is committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific rules-based order. We have seen concerning developments in the Maldives as far as the Chinese influence is concerned,” Joe Felter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, told PTI.

Responding to opposition leaders question on China’s developments intending to make the area a military base, Pentagon’s official said, “It’s in India’s backyard. We know it’s of concern to India. So, yes, (the situation in the Maldives) is a concern. We will see how it plays out. It emphasizes some of our priorities identified in our National Defence Strategy.”

He made it clear that any of these new developments are definitely “a cause of concern” for all states as well other countries in the region that supported to maintain the rules-based order.

“If you look at similar activities across the region, it gives us some cause for concern. From Djibouti to, Gwadar put to Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, and now potentially the Maldives and then extending further east, it’s of concern,” he said.

“We believe the interests of all states- large and small- are best served by maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific and a rules-based order. Some of China’s activities that we’ve observed give us concern because they do not seem to be consistent with those interests. I suspect India shares these concerns as well,” Felter added.

Earlier, during of the recent visits to the US, Maldives former foreign minister Ahmed Naseem had reportedly stated these new developments by China if left unchecked would pose as a threat to India and US. He added China could end up using the grabbed land in the Maldives to built its base for warships and submarines.

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from The Siasat Daily

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