14 November 2016
A RM43 billion (S$14 billion) harbour being developed in Malacca aims to overtake Singapore as the largest port in the region, but questions are being raised about the need for the added capacity and whether China’s eager participation has to do with good business or its crucial strategic interests in the Malacca Strait.
For China, not only does most of its trade pass through the Malacca Strait, but so does up to 80 per cent of its energy needs. This prompted then President Hu Jintao to make the “Malacca Dilemma” a key strategic issue as far back as 2003.
“There is the strategic element of the Malacca Strait. It always starts with an economic presence, which can develop into a naval one, because China will be obliged to ensure the safe passage of its commercial ships,” said Dr Johan Saravanamuttu of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, who studies the Malaysia-China relationship.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 15/11/2016