Amid Maldives crisis Chinese warships enter Indian Ocean

Chinese warships (Representational image)

Chinese warships have entered the Indian Ocean amidst constitutional crisis in the tropical island of Maldives. The entry into the ocean is being seen as a move by China to muscle India away from its "sphere of influence" in Maldives. 

Reports say that 11 Chinese warships, including a modern destroyer, a frigate, a 30,000-tonne  amphibious transport dock and a support tanker, entered the East Indian ocean this month, new portal said.  

India has had a longstanding tie with the island which is only 400 kms away from it. The Muslim country was often supported by India for its political and security needs. The competition for influence in the archipelago between India and China became evident when President Abdulla Yameen signed up for China's One belt one road initiative. 

While Maldives opposition leaders have been calling for Indian intercession in the current crisis in the country, the government has been keeping India at an arms length and seems to have allied itself with Beijing.

President Yameen imposed emergency in the country on February 5 in order to quash the Supremem Court order which had annulled the conviction of nine opposition leaders in a terrorism case. The top court had also ordered him to release those in prison. The court had also quashed the conviction of former president Mohammed Nasheed, who was the first democratically leader of the Indian Ocean country. 

Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge were arrested. There were other political arrestes the hours before. Yameen has sought for parliamentary approval for extending the emergency by another 15 days.

Nasheed has been calling for intervention from the US and India ever since the declaration of emergency. 

As China's interest in Maldives becomes more and more pronounced, India is yet to make any move.