Is Maldives A Sacrificial Goat In India-China Rivalry?

India's diplomatic relations with the Maldives are currently strained, with recent developments exacerbating tensions between the two nations. Ever since President Mohammed Muizzu came to power in November, riding on an "India Out" campaign, the relationship has been deteriorating steadily. The latest blow came last week when the Muizzu government demanded the withdrawal of Indian troops by March 15, marking a significant escalation in the friction between the two countries. President Muizzu's diplomatic choices have raised eyebrows, as he opted for Turkey as his first bilateral destination, followed by the recent visit to China. In doing so, he became the first Maldivian President to prioritize neither India nor make it his first choice. Despite his stance, President Muizzu continues to urge India for the withdrawal of its military personnel, despite India clarifying their role.

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