Maldives Walking Tight Rope between India and China

Like all the South Asian small states, the Maldives has been subjected to great power politics. There are five principles of Maldives’ foreign policy (mostly reciprocating with India’s ‘Panchsheel’) and six goals that revolve around sovereignty, identity, and Islamic nationalism. But due to the increasingly tense geopolitical environment, foreign policy adaptation has been a challenging task for the Maldives. As a result, Maldives’ internal political environment is largely polarized to ‘Anti or Pro- India or China’ when it comes to managing the changing geopolitical discourse. This issue brief aims to untangle the sources of Maldives’ foreign policy toward China and India so as to identify how the Maldives has adjusted to the changing geopolitical environment in South Asia.

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