New Delhi, April 7 (PTI): The US Defense Department has confirmed it is concerned about the rumors of China influencing and possibly exploiting the Maldives.
Felter expressed worries regarding China’s grip on the Indian Ocean archipelago as the West suspects that the Maldives is an important asset for the Asian giant for reasons yet unknown.
“[Maldives] lies in India’s backyard. We know this concerns the Indian government and we will be monitoring this closely. That’s one of the top priorities in our defense strategy as well,” Felter noted.
The US official had made the comments in the light of former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed’s public accusation of China exploiting its ties with Maldives and grabbing land for its own military strategies.
Felter said that the the Indian and Pacific Oceans are regions which fall under international maritime regulations and not under the hegemony of any one nation. He also stressed that several maritime activities of China in the Indian Ocean region are concerns of the US as well.
(The featured image at the top shows shows US Defense Department official Dr.Joseph H.Felter with the US Ambassador for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Atul Keshap)