China says it is hurt over Nasheed remarks

Gaurav Sharma

Beijing, Sep 26 (IANS) China on Wednesday said it was hurt over former Maldives President Mohammad Nasheeds "irresponsible remarks" against Beijing.

In interviews to media outlets, Nasheed, a fierce critic of Chinese investment in the Maldives, said after the defeat of pro-Beijing President Abdulla Yameen that the country will surely rethink on the Chinese deals and mend its ties with India.

Nasheed also said that it was difficult for an authoritarian state like China to understand a democratic country like the Maldives.

"We are deeply confused and regret these irresponsible remarks made by certain persons. We reiterate that we will continue our cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We will abide by the market based-rule," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said when asked about Nasheed's comments.

"Whether the cooperation between the Maldives and China can work out or bring benefits to the two countries is all up to the people of the two countries say and it cannot be smeared by certain individuals," he added.

Under Yameen's leadership, the Maldives drifted closer to China so much so that the Maldivian Parliament approved a free trade deal with Beijing without any debate.

Yameen also backed China's Belt and Road project and sought more Chinese investment in the country.

The Maldivian Democratic Party, which came to power in election last week, has been critical of China's forays into Male.

China worries the new government might renegotiate the deals made under Yameen.

--IANS

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