Maldives-China defense deal in preparation for India's exit: Implications and realignment

Maldives-China defense deal in preparation for India's exit: Implications and realignment

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Addressing a public rally north of the capital on Monday, Muizzu vowed there would be no Indian troops on Maldivian soil after May 10, when their withdrawal is expected to be complete.

The Indians were deployed to operate three reconnaissance aircraft New Delhi had gifted to Male to patrol its vast maritime border.

India is expected to replace military personnel with civilian staff to operate the aircraft, and the Maldives' Defense Ministry announced last month that Indian civilian crews had begun arriving in the atoll nation.

Last month, Male allowed a controversial Chinese research ship to enter its waters, signaling the country's diplomatic reorientation toward Beijing and away from its traditional beneficiary India.

China's Jiang Yang Hong 3 arrived in Male after Sri Lanka refused to allow docking following objections from India, which has termed it a spy ship.

China also donated 12 electric ambulances to Maldives on Sunday, the Health Ministry said.

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