Small island nation States around the world are very vulnerable to among other things small population size, remoteness from international markets, high transport costs, fragile land and maritime ecosystems. They seem particularly vulnerable to biodiversity loss and climate change, as they lack economic clout alternative. They also lack human intellectual and technological capacity, the inadequacy of financial resources, to attract anything more than tourism.
Many island nations are struggling to escape poverty, degradation of natural resources that make for economic growth. Freshwater is becoming scarce on many of these islands. Besides, they are fighting back against natural loss, not because of their natural beauty of their silver sands coastline, but because rising sea levels are eroding their coastlines.
To many tourists’ observers these islands are mere dots on the world’s map. Vanuatu and Nairu in the Pacific, St.Lucia in the Carribbean, Comoros in the Indian Ocean to mention a few,
The UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) is hoping to aim to restore whole island landscapes to accelerate economic recovery. It is trying hard to plug knowledge gaps, crafting policies and securing sustainable financial support.
Why is one of these nations in the news?
China’s global island chain strategy is a maritime containment plan. We now note some island states like The Maldives, economic and technical and tourism cooperation has deepened. Over the years. China has provided support and assistance in many areas including trade, investment, tourist visits, ocean affairs, environmental protection and disaster prevention.
India has recently countered by trying to open up the Laccadive Islands. Lakshadweep famed for its picturesque silver sand beaches, crystal blue waters and coral blue waters and corals is in the news as P.M. Narendra Modi has posted photos of his sojourn recently in Lakshadweep.
The Maldives has been cavorted by both China and India.
But anti-Indian sentiment has ramped up with heightened tensions between Maldives Archipelago and India. This may have been due to imagined or “perceived India’s support” of Israel in the Gaza war?
It is well known that Maldives is 2000 kilometres of India’s Southern coast. The Maldives and Lakshadweep are 750 km away. The charm of both islands is in their remoteness and beauty.
It is anybody’s guess, if Lakshadweep wins more Tourists and trade from China in this “Battle of the Islands” in the months or years ahead.
If as the new Maldivian President, Mohammed Muizzu has called for Indian troops to leave the Maldives, would despite public outcry in India, Indian Foreign Policy remain the same as the “Neighbourhood First” positive relationship with the Maldives.
India is hoped to continue its friendship and foreign relations with every nation, whether it is an Island or a Continent?