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International relations

India on board with US-Maldives alliance to counter China

Delhi's ground-leveling move sets up new Great Game in South Asia

India's approval for a new defense agreement between the U.S. and the Maldives counters China's recent incursions into the region. (Source photos by Reuters) 

COLOMBO -- A defense agreement the U.S. government signed with the Maldives this month is a sign of shifting geopolitical tides in a strategic stretch of the Indian Ocean once dominated by India, South Asia's main power.

Unlike a similar initiative seven years ago, the new framework for cooperation between the U.S. and Maldivian departments of defense went through without objection from India, a leading player in the latest version of the South Asian Great Game in which China, Japan and the U.S. are contesting for influence.

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