The Maldives : Location, money gifts, external infleunce, and interference.

Analyzer

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The Maldives is an interesting case of two expansionist countries, pushing influence with strings attached in a tiny country, that holds a strageic location in the Indian ocean.

Chinese development of it's "string of pearls" (which under Xi, is of the firm, but uncompromising variety), is heading towards the Madives. It consists of money, trade ties, and ultimately it seems to be heading in the direction of a military base.

The Maldives has also been subject to a long running program of (expensive) Saudi influence, under the assumption that more obedient religion is always the answer, and it must be spread for the good of the locals.

Two potential sharks seem to be cicling on the extremities, in a debacle that involves a small country selling off it's soveriegnty under ever deepening mismanagement.

Maldives : A Tiny Island Nation You've Never Heard Of Has Become A Global Battleground

Foreign debt is viewed with great enthusiasm by the current governments in the Asia-Pacific region, but not so much by the rest of the population. Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed recently warned that its monumental debt to China has put the country at risk of a “land grab.”

“We can’t pay the $1.5-2 billion debt to China,” Nasheed told the Nikkei Asian Review in an interview.

If the Maldives falls behind on its payments, China will “ask for equity” from the owners of various islands and infrastructure operators, and Beijing will then “get free hold of that land,” he also reportedly said.
It seems that local politicians have welcomed money from other external players who are interested in the strategic position of the Maldives. And incidentally, local politicians have shown an aversion to any closer ties with India.

Just days ago, the current President, Abdulla Yameen, extended the state of emergency that was implemented in early February. Fortunately for China, the focus has quickly shifted from China’s influence in the country to the Gulf’s growing involvement, particularly Saudi Arabia’s.


“It is unfortunate that certain countries are assisting the deep state,” Mohamed Aslam, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) legislator and member of the House Economic Committee, told Al Jazeera. He also said:

“The Maldives, at present, is in a state of flux politically and socially. It is also under siege by an organised and systematic strategy developed and implemented by radical Islamists with the intention of infiltration and subsequent total control of key departments of the state.”
In the absence of any strong American or Indian influence, and with insufficient preparedness to defend it's sovereignty from strangers bearing gifts (with strings attached) is this the direction in which some countries in Asia are going ?

Will the Maldives end up being a source of terror for India, and the wider region ?

How safe will Chinese interests be in a distant location, where the locals are being instructed in an ideology that regards athiesm as the ultimate sin ?

In the short term the Maldives seems to be ripe for a disaster. No doubt there will be some posters here who will celebrate the fact that it is not being used by Washington or New Dehli (both democracies incidentally, regarless of what you think of their current conservative-base-backed leaderships ).

It seems that two countries are already playing a global chessboard in the Maldives. And neither of them is the US. And neither of them is the nearby large country, India.
 
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Lumpy Talbot

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Not sure what can be done about small countries going into hock on the never-never. Applies to Ireland as well as the Maldives.

As I've said before China is playing Monopoly around the world while the US and Russia are playing an outdated game of Risk.

I see no change in that in the near future and of course there will be consequences.
 

Analyzer

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China is actually playing a game of containment of India, it's strongest Asian rival.

India is a multi-party democracy, and it seems that the CCP is none too enthusiastic about the idea spreading to China.

The West and India have a common interest here. A common interest that is actually of benefit to the local populace. However both the West and India are absent from the picture.

The more radicalised the population becomes the more dysfunctional they will become, and this will show up in it's relationship with India (officially secular, but mostly Hindu) and China (officially athiest, but strongly Confucian).

The Maldives is being divided in a long run game, by two entities that are rather uncompromising.

There are parallels between what is also happening in Pakistan, where locals have been cut out of the contracts and involvement in China's infrastructure investment push.

Change Is Coming: China Is Accelerating Its Plan For A Military Base In Pakistan

Another country with Saudi money for religion, corrupt local leaders, and potential to cause serious trouble for both India and the West.

A Chinese military base on the Jiwani peninsula will complement the Chinese base in Djibouti, which became operational in 2017. Both are located at strategic choke points. The Djibouti base is near the entrance to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, while the Jiwani base will be within easy reach of the Strait of Hormuz, a combination, not only capable of dominating vital sea lanes in the Arabian Sea, but boxing-in U.S bases in the Persian Gulf and outflanking the U.S. naval facility on Diego Garcia.

There is concern that the Chinese will transform its 99-year lease of the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota into another naval base, the exact “debt-trap” method the Chinese used in Djibouti and after its acquisition of a 40-year lease of the Pakistani port of Gwadar. There are also continuing Chinese diplomatic efforts to gain access to the Maldives.

All of the above represent elements of China’s “String of Pearls” bases to secure military dominance of the maritime component of BRI (Belt and Road Initiative).
 
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Destiny's Soldier

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The only thing I want to say about the Maldieves is that Sea Level was 20- 30cm higher in the 1970's but it doesn't stop it being a poster child for the UN's IPCC Global Government programme.

Observational facts do not verify the story of a rapidly rising sea level in the
Maldives. On the contrary, stability in sea level is well documented for the last
30 -40 years.

This is our firm conclusion: sea level is not in a rising mode over
the Maldives today. This is a well-known fact for the locals in the Laccadives,
to the north of the Maldives. The same picture is recorded in Bangladesh and
India, indicating a regional dimension of an absence of a presently on-going sea
level rise.
This conclusion is opposite to the scenario proposed by IPCC. As their idea
is not based on actual field studies only modeling, our observational facts
should be held superior.
During our research in the Maldives, we were confronted with several
“remarkable” events, and we have to draw the conclusion that some proponents
of IPCC take the liberty to act in a dark Medieval way where “the goal justifies
the means”.
http://myweb.wwu.edu/dbunny/pdfs/Ch7Elsevier.pdf
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Well I wouldn't get too carried away with describing India as a democracy. Underneath the appearance it has its social caste system which is anything but democratic in nature. It is also notoriously corrupt.

I wouldn't doubt for a minute that politicians in the Maldives have climbed straight up the arsepipe of any foreign power with money. That would be a similarity with one or two other countries I could mention closer to home.

China holds the Bank. Therefore it has an advantage. No point in the Maldives whining for assistance from elsewhere when they walked into it.

No one is going to nuke Beijing for them.
 

Analyzer

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Oh no....on top of everything else they have Noddy, Al Gore and other assorted hypocrites taking an interest in interfering as well.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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Small island politics when faced with looming superpower influences have been around for a long time.

In our European culture that would go back to the island states playing games around the power of Athens and Persia.

Some played it well. Others didn't. I suspect part of the strategy for the former was not to take out a mortgage with Athens for short term gain but they were in some respects brighter back then.

Their politicians and philosophers arguably so.
 

Boy M5

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China Vs India.
With apparent local corruption.
 

mr_anderson

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What they need is Uncle Sam saying we'll give you $2 billion if we can build a permanent base there.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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One of those situations where the answer is, in reality, 'horseman pass by'.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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What they need is Uncle Sam saying we'll give you $2 billion if we can build a permanent base there.
Well we did that with Shannon and they blew us off via Tim Geithner when it came to our remarkable negotiating success with assumed bank debt.
 

ruserious

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If the Maldives is afraid of falling behind in debt repayments to China and the resulting land grab, they should borrow from China's competitors (USA) to keep the payments going so that there is a hegemonic balance on the island and to prevent themselves being subjected to one global power.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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If the Maldives is afraid of falling behind in debt repayments to China and the resulting land grab, they should borrow from China's competitors (USA) to keep the payments going so that there is a hegemonic balance on the island and to prevent themselves being subjected to one global power.
Thing is though the USA can hardly support Michigan these days and are withdrawing from the far-flung base philosophy they at one time could afford.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I suspect China could probably call a halt to any Maldive attempt at courting loans from the US.

They could just threaten to call in all debt immediately and that would be curtains and the vulture funds would be circling overhead with Chinese investors picking up assets for pennies on the pound in any case.

Either the Maldives finds a way to submerge and sneak away quietly to another ocean or it had better start learning a Million Ways to Make Rice Interesting.
 

Analyzer

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If the Maldives is afraid of falling behind in debt repayments to China and the resulting land grab, they should borrow from China's competitors (USA) to keep the payments going so that there is a hegemonic balance on the island and to prevent themselves being subjected to one global power.
I suspect that Washington will opt to stay out as it is cheaper to stay out,
they don't need the Maldives,
what is going on infuriates New Dehli,
and it will only end up in the KSA and the PRC loathing each other.

In which case Washington, gains India as an ally, while ensuring that the two existing players cannot combine.

In other words, Washington might decide it is better off not getting involved.

Of course, it is also possible that some clueless knowitalls in Washington will do the stupid thing and get involved before this plays out. The Rodham doctrine might re-emerge, and involvement for the sake of involvement might occur.


The Maldives are already passed the point of no return. As Lumpy said, China holds them financially.

The PRC and the KSA are playing the global chessboard. The PRC wants containment of India, and presence in the Indian ocean. The KSA wants to push a belief system that is pre-medieval, and weaker than a Sam Harris argument, or an archaelogy dig. The madrassas are by their very nature antagonistic to Chinese miltary influence.

In the long term, this could end up being China's Guantanomo base - next to a hostile power.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I recall when we were officially f*cked (as opposed to unofficially f*cked as we are now) putting forward the idea that we invite Russia, China or both to use Shannon and the Shannon estuary as a naval and air base on the western European coastline.

You could actually smell the loose turds off the forum when I logged back on so many people had lost their sh1t.

And this was just after the US had demonstrated its long loving relationship with the Mother Country by having its Treasury Secretary flatly turn down any debt negotiation scenario with Ireland.

I still think we should clear the Americans out of any influence at Shannon and ask the Chinese and Russians if they are interested in a submarine, general naval and air base on the west coast of Europe and in the eastern Atlantic.
 

Analyzer

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What happened to "WE SERVE NEITHER KING NOR KAISER BUT IRELAND" ?
 

PC Principle

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What they need is Uncle Sam saying we'll give you $2 billion if we can build a permanent base there.
US aircraft carriers make the idea defunct. A single US Carrier Group could wipe out most countries.

The only reason a country such as China need land bases is because it has a feeble navy and only one salvaged carrier.

The Chinese have pîss poor military projection ability.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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I think the OP is right in that the Indian Ocean generally is going to be a silent battlefield between Chinese and Indian interests.

The Indians are seriously concerned about the new Silk Road manifestation of a Chinese desire to expand its soft-power across land and sea routes and the Chinese are highly likely to either get them to fall into line or will simply go around them, leaving India isolated in the end.

The Chinese have already been signing deals with Pakistan which is a real red flag issue for India.
 


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