China slams ex-President Nasheed for false claims

China has refuted the false claims by the former Maldivian President, Mohamed Nasheed, who has accused China of "land grabbing" of Maldivian Islands.

In a statement issued by the Chinese Embassy in Maldives, Spokesperson, Counselor Yang Yin said that Nasheed’s remarks are fabricated in disregard of facts and the cooperation between China and Maldives is in the interests of both sides which cannot be denigrated by one-side individual remarks.

"In recent years, China and Maldives have conducted a series of mutually beneficial livelihood projects in the principle of mutual respect and equality. The hardworking Chinese employees work day and night to help the Maldivians further upgrade their infrastructure and improve livelihood so as to realize the mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. The economic and social development of Maldives has made remarkable progress and the living standards of the people have been improved, which the international community including China is happy to see. The false remarks such as "island grabbing"?" occupation of land" and "undermining the security of the region" seriously hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and are completely contrary to the actual situation." The statement said.

The Chinese Embassy said that China has conducted friendly and mutual-beneficial cooperation with current and previous governments of the Maldives. The cooperation like housing projects, Laamu link road already started during the tenure of Nasheed. It is believed that Mr. Nasheed himself has the personal experience to the benefits brought by the China-Maldives cooperation to the people of the Maldives.

"Why did Mr. Nasheed support this normal economic and trade cooperation during his tenure and now turn to be strongly opposed to it? Why even now fabricates to discredit the normal bilateral cooperation between the two countries? These doubts remain in the mind of the Chinese side." The Chinese Spokesperson said.

China and Maldives jointly build the Belt and Road Initiative under the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and mutual benefit, which benefits the people of the two countries and accords with the interests of two peoples.

"The Chinese side will steadily move forward the construction of major projects including China-Maldives Friendship Bridge according to the consensus of the two leaders of the two countries. We hope this will benefit the life of the Maldivian people at an early date. The Chinese side sincerely hopes Mr. Nasheed to have a clear picture of the situation and view China-Maldives cooperation in an objective, fair and balanced way, and stop making false remarks. It is also hoped that Mr. Nasheed could proceed from a long-term perspective and do more positive contributions to the development of the bilateral relationship." The statement said.

Meanwhile, Beijing has pointed out that development projects involving it were started during the tenure of Nasheed himself, adding that Mr Nasheed seemed to have made the remarks for “political” motives.

Self-exiled former President Nasheed is currently based in Sri Lanka.

In a statement from New Delhi, spokesperson of the Chinese embassy in India counselor Ji Rong said, “Recently, former Maldivian President Nasheed made a lot of false remarks... He pointed fingers at the practical cooperation between China and Maldives and alleged that China engaged in so called ‘land grabbing’ of Maldivian islands, which undermines the security of the Indian Ocean region. These allegations are apparently groundless with no regard to facts.”