Maldives 23rd April 2024


The parliamentary election victory of Maldives President Muizzu’s People’s National Congress (PNC) strengthens the country’s pro-China position, raising concerns regarding the state of Maldives-India relations. China’s expanding influence presents obstacles to India’s strategic concerns in the area.


Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu’s party, the PNC, secured a significant majority in the country’s legislative body, the Majlis, during the parliamentary elections held in Maldives on 21st April. The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which previously held a dominant position in the parliament, suffered a severe defeat, securing only 12 seats.

President Muizzu, known for his strongly pro-China stance, utilized nationalist rhetoric and an “India out” campaign to attract significant backing, in contrast to the proIndia stance of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). This pro-China stance includes significant infrastructure contracts awarded to Chinese firms and policy shifts reducing the Indian military presence on the islands.

So What:

  • The Maldives-India relations may face increased strain if the new administration strongly aligns with China, demonstrated by policies and diplomatic engagements favoring Beijing.
  • New Delhi is expected to view the growing Chinese influence in the Maldives as a challenge to its regional dominance and maritime security. This could impact Indian aid and investment, which are significant sources of support for the Maldives.


India has maintained a restrained stance, downplaying the strained ties with the Maldives. It is expected to continue this approach, balancing its strategic interests with the necessity to engage constructively with Muizzu’s government. As the Maldives manages its internal political dynamics and external diplomatic relations, the terms of engagement with India are likely to be reassessed, depending on how the Maldives navigates its historical and economic ties with India while seeking closer strategic connections with China.

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