New Delhi — A power struggle in the Maldives, a tiny Indian Ocean nation known for scenic luxury resorts and crystal-clear blue water, is taking centre stage in a wider battle for regional influence between India and China. On Monday, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency after the Supreme Court ordered him to free political prisoners and opposition politicians he has thrown in jail. Security forces then stormed the court and arrested two judges, as well as a former leader. The remaining judges later annulled the previous ruling, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. The political drama has sparked concern in India, which said last week — in an unusually strong statement — that it was "imperative" for the government to obey the Supreme Court. China, which signed a free trade agreement with the Maldives last year, said on Tuesday that the country of roughly 400,000 people had "the wisdom and capabilities to cope with the current situation independently...

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