08 October 2020
Malaysia is likely to maintain its “quiet diplomacy” in dealing with China’s sweeping maritime claims instead of heeding calls to be more aggressive, with Kuala Lumpur wary of Beijing’s tendency to enact punitive measures against those that challenge it openly. This was among the views shared by Malaysia’s leading scholars of the South China Sea dispute in a webinar yesterday on the matter.
Shahriman Lockman, one of the three Malaysian speakers in the event organised by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said it was a “common mistake to view the South China Sea dispute and the roles and policies of the claimants as some kind of morality tale”. But “in the real world, all political leaders have to deal with the fact that China is very willing to be either very generous or very punitive with regards to economic relations”, said Shahriman, a fellow at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies.
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Last updated on 09/10/2020