22 September 2019
The recent announcement of a bilateral consultation mechanism between China and Malaysia on maritime affairs has given rise to questions surrounding the South China Sea, where both countries have overlapping claims.
In a meeting between Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and China’s State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese official announced “a new platform for dialogue and cooperation” for maritime issues.
Saifuddin said the mechanism would be led by the foreign ministries of both nations, which enjoy close trade ties and mark 45 years of diplomatic relations this year.
… China’s reactions have changed over the years, says Joseph Liow Chin Yong of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, although it generally rejects any other claims at odds with its own.
Unlike Vietnam and the Philippines, China’s dealings with Malaysia over the South China Sea issue have been far more stable.
“However, Chinese vessels are patrolling further and further south. They have appeared off the coast of East Malaysia, and even [Malaysian national oil and gas company] Petronas is concerned about the activities of these ships in the vicinity of their offshore drilling facilities,” Liow said.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 23/09/2019