China throws out India from the Maldives
According to the magazine "Jane's Defense Weekly" in the article Rahul Bedi "Maldives tells India to withdraw helicopters", the government of the Maldives decided to stop the operation of two Indian-supplied helicopters HAL Dhruv, supplied to the Maldives National Defense Force (Maldives National Defense Force) MNDF) and used from the islands of Laam and Addu primarily for coastal monitoring and search and rescue purposes.
The government of the Maldives decided not to renew the agreements signed with India (Letters of exchange - LoE) on the operation of these helicopters. The term LoE for one of the helicopters Dhruv expired in May, and the duration of the LoE for the second helicopter expires on June 30. Helicopter flights under these agreements are carried out by six airmen from the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard of India. The Maldivian government refused to extend visas for these six Indian pilots, as well as 10-12 Indian technicians engaged in servicing these helicopters.
Also, the Maldivian government did not renew visas to Indian engineers involved in the construction of a police academy complex in the capital of the Male Isles under the bilateral agreement of 2015. In addition, the Maldives did not sign LoE regarding the previously agreed upon planned delivery by India under another agreement of 2016 of the base patrol aircraft HAL Dornier 228. Indian diplomats and security officers unofficially reported that the Government of the Maldives, headed by President Abdullah Yamen, had begun to "reduce" all security and cooperation agreements with New Delhi under the "order" of China that had recently concluded a security and package of commercial agreements.
In December 2017, the Maldives signed 12 agreements with China, including a pact for the promotion of the Beijing One-Way and One-Way (OBOR) initiative aimed at expanding economic and strategic ties with the countries of the Indian Ocean region.
In Maldives, the reconstruction of the international airport in Male was recently carried out at the expense of Chinese funding (with Indian proposals rejected), and Chinese companies are reportedly likely to win a tender for the construction of the port of Uthuru Thila Falhu northwest of Male. Indian concerns are further exacerbated by intelligence reports that, under a secret agreement, the Maldivian government granted the PLA Navy the right to call warships in Marao, which is located 40 km south of Male. On the bmpd side
, we point out that until recently the National Defense Forces of Maldives, and, in turn, the Coast Guard, included in their composition, were almost entirely in Indian "custody", receiving from India on a grant or preferential basis equipment and training personnel. India has transferred, in the order of assistance to the Maldives, both the only operated MNDF helicopter - the Indian-made Dhruv type. The first helicopter was transferred in April 2010 from the coast guard of India, retaining its on-board number CG852, and the second was transferred in April 2016 from the Indian Navy's air force and also retained the Indian on-board number IN750.
In 2016, a bilateral agreement was signed for the transfer of MNDF from the Indian Coast Guard to a light base Indian patrol aircraft HAL Dornier Do 228, but it has not been implemented to date. India in the past 15 years has given the Maldives at least three patrol boats.