Opportunistic diplomacy between Mauritius and the US at the British Club Bangkok. The US condemns China for violating the law of the sea to build military bases on disputed islands. Will it likewise chastise the British over the Chagos Archipelago? Will justice finally be done or will the US wear the badge of shameful hypocrisy?
As the nations of South East Asia look west towards the Indian Ocean, will Mauritius respond and seize a golden opportunity to deepen economic and diplomatic ties?
The Chagos archipelago is a group of islands south of the Maldives that were a dependency of Mauritius until 1965. The US wanted a base in the Indian Ocean and identified the largest island, Diego Garcia, as ideal. At their request, Britain removed the islands from Mauritius before independence and exiled the population to the Seychelles and the slums of Mauritius. Both acts have been declared illegal and the Chagossians are on the verge of returning home. But will Mauritius’ claim for sovereignty undermine this? And what sinister forces are at work?