You dont have javascript enabled! Please enable it!


China on Tuesday vowed to work with the Maldives to build a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with the island nation and underlined that normal cooperation between the two does not “target” any third party and will not be disrupted by any 3rd party.

Asked for her comments on China’s military agreement with the Maldives at a press briefing here, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning referred the media to “competent Chinese authorities” for details. “More broadly, China is committed to working with the Maldives to build a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership,” she said.

“Normal cooperation between China and the Maldives does not target any third party and will not be disrupted by any third party” Mao said, without naming any country.

Her statement came a day after China signed a defence cooperation agreement with the Maldives to provide free military assistance to foster “stronger” bilateral ties weeks after President Mohamed Muizzu set a deadline for the withdrawal of the first group of Indian military personnel to leave the island nation.

Maldives Defence Minister Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon “signed an agreement on China’s provision of military assistance gratis to the Republic of Maldives, fostering stronger bilateral ties” with Chinese military official Major General Zhang Baoqun, the Maldivian defence ministry posted on its X handle.

However, the details of the defence cooperation agreement were not revealed.

The military agreement was signed days after the Maldives permitted a Chinese “research ship”, also termed a spy ship by critics, to dock near Male after Sri Lanka announced a yearlong moratorium on such ships docking in its ports.

The Maldives and China elevated their bilateral ties to a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership” during the visit of Maldives President Muizzu to Beijing in January during which he held talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

Muizzu, regarded as pro-China, signed several agreements with China and Beijing has also announced a USD 130 million grant to Maldives besides committing to send more Chinese tourists to the island nation.

Meanwhile, Mao also positively reacted to Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” joining once again with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) headed by pro-China K P Sharma Oli ending his partnership with the Nepali Congress party to form a new government.

“China noted that Nepal has formed a new government coalition and reshuffled the cabinet recently. We sincerely hope that relevant parties of Nepal will work together in solidarity, advance the work related to the formation of the new government in a smooth manner, and realise political stability, economic growth and improvement of people’s livelihood,” she said.

“We would like to work with the new government to uphold the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, deepen our traditional friendship, strengthen practical cooperation, advance the China-Nepal strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity, and deliver more benefits to the peoples of the two countries,” Mao said.

Prachanda, who previously warmed up to China, struck a more balanced approach during his tenure in power, while Oli pursued a closer tie with Beijing and signed a transit trade agreement with China aimed at reducing dependence on India for his landlocked country.