China on Tuesday sharpened its attack on former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed over his allegations of land grabbing by Beijing in his country, saying the charges are "ridiculous fabrications".
Nasheed had told the media in Colombo last month that China is indulging in land grabbing, threatening not just the Maldives, but the peace and the stability of the entire region. The large and emerging power is “busy buying up the Maldives,” he had said, referring to China.
“Last week, I responded similar remarks made by Nasheed. His latest ones are nothing new," Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said here today.
The allegations are “sheer ridiculous fabrications,” he told the media.
“I would like to remind Nasheed that whether China and Maldives cooperation is beneficial to the two countries shall be judged in the final analysis by the two peoples and will not be undermined by any one side story," he said.
Geng was responding to a question on Nasheed's allegations in which he had alleged that China is indulging in land grabbing as Beijing has acquired over 17 islands with plans to invest USD 40 million more.
China has been criticising Nasheed, who has been calling for India's military intervention in the Maldives after President Abdullah Yameen imposed emergency in the island nation, detained top judges and former longtime president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Yameen's move came after the apex court ruled to release nine high-profile political prisoners, including Nasheed.
On February 8, Geng had refuted allegations by Nasheed saying, “I think that kind of remarks (by the former president) is totally wrong. When Nasheed was the president China had offered assistance to Maldives and promoted pragmatic cooperation and achieved a lot of outcomes. I do not know whether Nasheed will regard such cooperation as grabbing”, he said.
The Chinese embassy in New Delhi issued a statement yesterday terming Nasheed's allegations as “apparently groundless with no regard to facts”.
Meanwhile, an op-ed article in the state run Global Times today said China would take action if “one-sidedly sends troops to the Maldives”.
“Without UN empowerment, there would be no righteous cause for any armed force to intervene. China will not interfere in the internal affairs of the Maldives, but that does not mean that Beijing will sit idly by as New Delhi breaks the principle," it said.
"If India one-sidedly sends troops to the Maldives, China will take action to stop New Delhi. India should not underestimate China's opposition to unilateral military intervention," the paper added.
Nasheed had said China is indulging in land grabbing, threatening not just the Maldives, but the peace and the stability of the entire region