The Maldives--a small string of islands in the Indian Ocean that boasts surreal beachfronts and extraordinary getaways--is full of destruction and chaos as it undergoes a tumultuous political upheaval.
The upheaval forced President Mohamed Nasheed out of office on Tuesday. The former president claims he was held at gunpoint and given no other choice but to relinquish his commanding role during a coup d'etat.
Nations such as the United States, China and India could be dramatically affected by the instability in the Maldives. Large ships carrying billions of dollars of oil frequently pass near the Maldives. If commerce or transit routes are affected, millions, if not billions, of dollars could be lost.
Some Indians believe that China may try to seize the land in a string of pearls strategy, establishing military or political bases in the Maldives archipelago. The move would give China a strategic economic advantage over India.
Similarly, China worries about how India will respond. China would like to make sure India doesn't interfere with its supply chain if the nations were to clash in the future according to the Los Angeles Times.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington is recognizing the new government of President Mohammed Waheed Hassan as legitimate according to the Washington Post. Former president Nasheed is upset that America has decided to work with the regime.
M Ganapathi, Secretary (West) in the External Affairs Ministry said that India is willing to assist in the early installation of a national unity government in the Indian Ocean according to the Economic Times. Ganapathi met with new and former president of the Maldives to diffuse the situation and express India's investment in the region.
On the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China website, China expressed its interest in stability in the region. It said:
As a friendly neighbour of Maldives, China sincerely hopes that Maldives will maintain peace, stability and development.
The Maldives political upheaval marks the end of a four-year-old democracy, if the coup d'etat is indeed a military rebellion as former president Nasheed claims. Before becoming a democracy, the Maldives spent several decades under an autocratic regime.