Chinese ambassador: Attempt to drive a wedge between India, China is futile

Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, Zhang Lizhong. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

Chinese ambassador to Maldives, Zhang Lizhong has issued warning that any attempt to drive a wedge between China and India are futile.

The ambassador’s statement follows remarks regarding regional superpowers China and India by Speaker of Parliament, former Maldivian leader Mohamed Nasheed during the India Economic Summit last Friday.

Nasheed said that opposition at the time had approached the Indian government for intervention during the political turmoil of 2018 when the Maldivian Parliament was suspended and the country’s Chief Justice detained. He said that reliable sources had reported to him that the incidents had incited a diplomatic dispute between China and India.

He said that Maldives wished to venture on the path of development and progress with assistance of India, but that the motive of China remained to indebt Maldives.

Addressing these remarks, Chinese Ambassador Zhang, in a statement via his official Twitter account on Friday evening, accused Nasheed of being “irresponsible”.

He warned that any attempts to drive a wedge between China and India was futile.

“Any attempt to drive a wedge between China and India is futile. The China-India relations have transcended bilateral scope and have global and strategic significance,” said Zhang.

He said that it was in the best interest of Maldives to develop diplomatic relations with China and India simultaneously.

He also denied accusations by Nasheed that China was engaged in promoting single party rule in its diplomatic partners by exerting its influence to revise legislature.

Zhang said that China did not export ideology, but engaged in mutually beneficial development projects.

“China doesn't export ideology, but shares development dividend. China and Maldives have set up a good example of state-to-state relations between big and small countries featuring equality and mutually-beneficial cooperation,” said Zhang.

He also denied accusations of human rights violations by China.

“China has achieved historic and all-round human rights progress. China has lifted nearly 800 million people out of poverty and by 2020 will eliminate all extreme poverty under the current UN standards, setting a milestone for the promotion of human rights in the world,” said Zhang.

He said that China would never interfere in the domestic affairs of any country, and that it developed diplomatic relations with its bilateral partners ‘”based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence”.