Maldives declares emergency, soldiers reportedly storm court

Maldives policemen clear the area of supreme court after the government declared a 15-day state of emergency in Male, Maldives, early Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. The Maldives government declared a 15-day state of emergency Monday as the political crisis deepened in the Indian Ocean nation amid an increasingly bitter standoff between the president and the Supreme Court. Hours after the emergency was declared, soldiers forced their way into the Supreme Court building, where the judges were believed to be taking shelter, said Ahmed Maloof, an opposition member of Parliament. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sharuhaan)

Mohamed Sharuhaan

MALE, Maldives (AP) — The Latest on the political crisis in the Maldives (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

China is dismissing accusations from the former leader of the Maldives that it is attempting to effectively buy up the Indian Ocean island state and eliminate its sovereignty.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says Chinese economic assistance came without political strings and called recent remarks by Mohamed Nasheed "totally groundless."

Geng says Chinese aid made "great achievements in promoting bilateral pragmatic cooperation."

Nasheed told reporters in the neighboring country of Sri Lanka that current President Yameen Abdul Gayoom has opened the doors to Chinese investment without regard for procedure or transparency.

China, Nasheed implied, "is busy buying up the Maldives."

Yameen has cracked down on civil liberties since coming to power in 2013, imprisoning or forcing into exile nearly every politician who opposes him.

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