This ultra-geostrategic South Asian archipelago state is front and center in the Chinese-Indian New Cold War.
The Maldivian military surrounded parliament today and reportedly arrested several individuals just days after the Supreme Court ruled that 9 opposition figures would be freed from custody and have their terrorism cases retried.
The highest law in the land tried to carry out a “deep state” coup by releasing these individuals and thereby allowing the opposition to gain a parliamentary majority and potentially impeach President Yameen.
The long-running domestic political tensions in the country and their larger global importance were previously analyzed by the author on three occasions over nearly the past two and a half years, with the first one being a three-part article series about the late-2015 Hybrid War crisis there and the last two being a book-length article series on the Chinese-Indian New Cold War and a brief update on last summer’s simmering situation:
The general idea is that the country’s pivotal location astride crucial Afro-Indian Ocean trade routes makes it an object of competition between China and India, with the former incorporating it into its One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity while the latter wants to disrupt this relationship in order to regain its hegemonic influence over the neighboring state so as to diminish Beijing’s strategic position in this region.
The 21st-century geopolitics of the Multipolar World Order are such that India is doing the US’ bidding in “containing China” in this part of the world, helped along as it is by the game-changing 2016 LEMOA military-strategic partnership that New Delhi unprecedentedly signed with Washington in allowing each party to use one another’s military facilities on a case-by-case basis.
The trigger for the latest unrest was the Maldives signing a free trade agreement with China in December, which India loudly objected and is evidently trying to reverse by supporting a multiphase “deep state” coup in the country.
The first step was to intensify the ongoing information war against the Maldives by coordinating with the US-backed global Mainstream Media to smear the state as a “dictatorship”, after which the Supreme Court component kicked into action by suddenly changing the domestic political balance in the country and opening up the opportunities for a fast-moving “constitutional coup”.
It’s this second step that President Yameen tried to stop by ordering the military to surround parliament in order to stop any quasi-“legal” impeachment proceedings from happening, which could have created the pretext for exiled opposition leader Nasheed to claim leadership of the state and possibly even summon Indian military assistance to finalize the coup.
Having preempted that, however, there’s now a very dangerous chance that India will encourage its proxies to carry out their fallback plan of commencing a Hybrid War in the country through targeted provocations just like what happened in late 2015 with several failed assassination attempts against President Yameen and the subsequent risk of an externally supported “civil war” breaking out in the Maldives, which could potentially even see Daesh getting involved in carrying out its “trademarked” terrorist attacks.
Should that “dark scenario” not transpire and be narrowly averted just like it was nearly two and a half years ago, then the final step would be for India to lead the “international community” (the West) in trying to “isolate” the Maldives on the basis that it’s the world’s newest “pariah/rogue regime” and implementing sanctions against it and its leadership, after which New Delhi can then claim that Beijing is backing a regional “dictatorship” that “kills its own people” and is becoming a “Chinese colony/puppet”.
The outcome of this latest proxy conflict of the Chinese-Indian New Cold War will determine the Balance of Power in the Afro-Indian Ocean and whether it remains multipolar or shifts back to its previous unipolar status, as a Chinese-aligned Maldives led by President Yameen would secure these waters for the New Silk Road while an Indian-backed President Nasheed would disrupt it to New Delhi and Washington’s advantage.
The latest news is that President Yameen said that he’s considering early elections, which could temporarily defuse the crisis but need to be monitored for fraud and provocations carried out by former President Nasheed and his supporters, including any indirect “assistance” that they might receive from Daesh if it “conveniently” strikes the archipelago that has has the ignoble distinction of contributing the world’s highest per-capita number of terrorists to the group.
The situation is still fluid and anything can change in an instant, just like during the tense days of its late-2015 Hybrid War crisis, but regardless of whatever ultimately happens, it should be clear to all observers that events are being directed by India’s Research & Analysis Wing (RAW, which is allied with Mossad per the recent Indian-“Israeli” alliance that was formalized over the past 7 months) in order to advance the US’ goal of “containing China”.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Eurasia Future