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Strategically located Maldives plays an important role in the alternative maritime routes that China is seeking to build through initiatives like the One Road One Belt. Much of Beijing's growing assertion in the Indian Ocean is focused on the US-centric club China perceives Washington is building along with India.
As China looks for investment opportunities abroad, and India seeks funding for its infrastructure, the newly founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) creates a win-win proposition for both countries. With its disposable capital, China is likely to contribute $50 billion of the $100 billion of the AIIB thus placing it in a position to address the huge infrastructure needs of India and its neighbourhood. That said, a key question remains: how will India and China manage their bilateral issues on a multilateral platform like the AIIB?
For now India doesn't have the economic or military might to counter China. However what it has is its geopolitical importance in Asia, which both the US and China are trying to leverage. India should use this to straighten its relationship with China.