President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, addressing reporters after his state visit to China, delivered a strong message, emphasizing that Maldives will not tolerate being bullied by other nations. While not explicitly naming India, the remarks come in response to what is perceived as an anti-Maldives campaign initiated by a neighboring country, India.
In his sharp rhetoric, President Muizzu stated, “We are not in the backyard of any particular country. We are an independent and sovereign country. So this basis of territorial integrity is a basis on which China respects us very much.” He underscored that the Indian Ocean, where Maldives holds a significant share with a vast exclusive economic zone of nine lakh square kilometers, is not the exclusive property of any particular nation.
Without directly mentioning India, President Muizzu referred to the previous government, stating, “They had to get permission to get up from one seat and move to another,” emphasizing the current administration’s commitment to stand independently without relying on external influences. He clarified that China does not influence Maldives’ internal affairs.
President Muizzu expressed a determination to reduce dependence on India in various sectors, particularly in healthcare. He pledged to stop importing medicine from India, opting to source directly from the original manufacturers, with a shift towards European and U.S. suppliers.
In his concluding remarks, President Muizzu asserted, “We might be a small country, but that does not give you the license to bully us.” This statement reflects Maldives’ firm stance on maintaining its independence and sovereignty amidst regional tensions.