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Maldives Leader’s Visit to China Points to Changing Politics in the Indian Ocean Region

Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Mohamed began a week-long tour of China in the southeastern province of Fujian on September 8, 2023. Image via Xinhua.

The recently-elected president of the tiny Indian Ocean archipelagic state, the Maldives, arrived in China for what will be a closely watched week-long visit.

Mohamed Muizzu and his wife, Sajidha Mohamed, landed in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian on Monday, where he began his trip with a tour of the Xiamen Free Trade Zone. Later in the week, he will make his way to Beijing, where he’s expected to meet with President Xi Jinping and other high-level officials eager to bolster Beijing’s influence in the strategically vital Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

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