India has offered US$1.4 billion (S$1.9 billion) in financial aid to the Maldives for infrastructure development, including its water and sewerage systems, in a move to counter China's presence in the island nation and ease the pressure on it of its growing Chinese debt.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the aid, which includes a mixture of soft loans, currency swap and line of credit, after talks with visiting Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Mr Modi said in a statement on Monday he had fruitful discussions with Mr Solih and that India wants to deepen ties with the Maldives.
Mr Solih is on a three- day visit to India, his first official trip overseas since he was sworn in as president in November (2018).
Since taking charge, Mr Solih has shifted the Maldivian course slightly away from China, to which it owes millions of dollar.
The previous government, led by Mr Abdulla Yammen, had deepened ties with China at the cost of relations with India.
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