Malaysia Opposes External Interference in South China Sea Disputes

Malaysia opposes external interference in South China Sea disputes, aligning with China's position, as the two countries celebrate 50 years of diplomatic ties and pledge to deepen cooperation.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Malaysia Opposes External Interference in South China Sea Disputes

Malaysia Opposes External Interference in South China Sea Disputes

Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Utama Haji Mohamad bin Haji Hasan stated that Malaysia opposes "external forces" meddling in the South China Sea territorial disputes during talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing on April 25, 2024. Hasan was in China to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

During the meeting, Wang praised Malaysia as an important member of ASEAN, a representative of emerging economies, and a positive and stable force in the Muslim world. He said China considers its relations with Malaysia a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and is ready to work together to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries to build a China-Malaysia community with a shared future.

The two ministers discussed strengthening economic cooperation in areas such as infrastructure, digital economy, green development, and new energy vehicles. They also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern, including the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Hasan expressed appreciation for China's position on the conflict, and both sides agreed to strengthen coordination to promote a just and lasting solution.

Why this matters: The talks between China and Malaysia come amid intensifying disputes in the South China Sea, particularly between China and the Philippines. Malaysia's stance against external interference aligns with China's position and highlights the complex geopolitical dynamics in the region.

Regarding the South China Sea issue, Hasan reaffirmed Malaysia's adherence to the one-China policy and its opposition to external forces stirring up trouble in the disputed waters. China has been facing increasing pushback from other claimants, such as the Philippines, which has sought support from the U.S. and Japan.

Wang stated that China opposes external interference, muscle flexing, provocations, and harassment in the South China Sea, as well as exclusive circles or bloc confrontation. He emphasized China's willingness to strengthen communication and coordination with Malaysia to uphold international fairness and justice and safeguard the common interests of Global South countries.

"Malaysia firmly adheres to the one-China policy and opposes external forces stirring up trouble in the South China Sea," Hasan said during the talks. The two sides agreed to further strengthen exchanges and deepen cooperation in various areas to push forward the bilateral relationship between China and Malaysia, which has remained strong over the past 50 years since establishing diplomatic ties.

Key Takeaways

  • Malaysia opposes external interference in South China Sea disputes.
  • China and Malaysia agree to strengthen economic and diplomatic cooperation.
  • Malaysia reaffirms its adherence to the one-China policy.
  • China and Malaysia pledge to uphold international fairness and justice.
  • Talks highlight complex geopolitical dynamics in the South China Sea region.