In a recently signed agreement, Chinese software firm Huawei Technologies has agreed to provide IT infrastructure support to the Maldives. The memorandum of understanding was signed between Huawei Technologies ( Lanka) Co. Ltd, and the National Center for Information Technologies, Maldives. The agreement entails the development of the IT Infrastructure in the island nation under the ‘Smart Maldives Project.’ The Maldives views this partnership a significant step in its quest to become an independent and a progressive country.
China has also expressed its interest in providing the Maldives with loans to support the project. The growing association between China and the Maldives rings alarm bells for India, since a possible China-Maldives relationship will affect India’s hegemony in the region. India fears a security breach since the equipment used for infrastructure development in the Maldives could have bugs and may possibly intercept any communication between India, China and the Maldives.
Although the project will provide the Maldives with state-of-the-art communication technology, it is expected that China would exercise its influence over the Maldives to utilize the latter’s IT network for its own advantage. India’s concerns over China-Maldivian ties are largely fuelled by jealousy. India is still reeling from the investment shock following the Maldives’ decision to oust the former from constructing the Male airport.