05 November 2016
They came in quick succession to visit, they criticised the West and praised the Chinese, and they all left with economic goodies.
The outcomes from recent visits by leaders of Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam – all of which have competing claims in the South China Sea with China – have led some to view them as part of China’s new charm offensive towards Asean, targeted at claimants.
The aim is to repair ties roiled by the territorial disputes and keep the focus on cooperation rather than a ruling by an international tribunal in July that invalidated China’s territorial claims, say analysts.
… Singapore-based maritime security analyst Collin Koh of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies wrote in a paper this week that a 13 per cent cut to US$3.6 billion (S$5 billion) in Malaysia’s 2017 defence budget might be one factor why it is buying Chinese vessels. They reportedly cost six times less than similar French-made ships.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 07/11/2016