China, Malaysia to Set South China Sea Dialogue Mechanism

Translator

Tempo.co

Editor

Laila Afifa

12 September 2019 14:48 WIB

Overlapping claims in South China Sea

TEMPO.COBeijing - China and Malaysia have agreed to set up a joint dialogue mechanism for the disputed South China Sea, the Chinese government's top diplomat said on Thursday, September 12, after meeting Malaysia's foreign minister.

Recent Chinese naval deployments in the strategic waterway, through which more than $3.4 trillion worth of goods are transported annually, have reignited tension with Vietnam and the Philippines. Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have competing claims in the South China Sea.

Malaysia had been critical of China's South China Sea position, but has not been excessively outspoken recently, especially after China pumped in billions of dollars into infrastructure projects under its Belt and Road Initiative.

Malaysia regularly tracked Chinese naval and coastguard vessels entering Malaysia's territorial waters, but China respects Malaysia and had "not done anything that caused us trouble, so far", Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu told Reuters last month.

Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi told a news conference with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah that this year, tensions in the South China Sea had dropped.

Littoral states and China were committed to continue appropriately handling the South China Sea issue and jointly safeguard peace and stability there, said Wang, who is the Chinese government's top diplomat.

"To this end, our two sides have agreed to set up a bilateral consultation mechanism for maritime issues, a new platform for dialogue and cooperation for both sides," he said.

Abdullah, who referred to Wang as "my brother", said the mechanism would be led by the two countries' foreign ministries.

"Our officers will be discussing the details, but I think this is one important outcome of the meeting today and also the 45 years of our diplomatic relations," he said.

China is debt-heavy Malaysia's biggest trade partner and the countries have close cultural ties too.

In July, China and Malaysia resumed construction on a train project in northern Malaysia, which is part of China's Belt and Road plan, after a year-long suspension and following a rare agreement to cut its cost by nearly a third, to about $11 billion. 

REUTERS



Foreign Tourist Visits to Indonesia Rise by 361.31%, Mostly from Malaysia: BPS

9 jam lalu

Foreign Tourist Visits to Indonesia Rise by 361.31%, Mostly from Malaysia: BPS

The Indonesian Central Statistics Agency BPS reveals that 678,500 foreign tourists visited Indonesia in October this year.


China to Loosen COVID Curbs after Massive Protests

21 jam lalu

China to Loosen COVID Curbs after Massive Protests

China is set to announce in the coming days an easing of its COVID-19 quarantine protocols.


Nearly 200 Malaysian Investors Interested in Indonesia's New Capital Project: Minister Basuki

1 hari lalu

Nearly 200 Malaysian Investors Interested in Indonesia's New Capital Project: Minister Basuki

PUPR Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said many investors are interested in the new capital city or IKN Nusantara project.


South China Sea Dispute; Retno Marsudi Requests for Peace Paradigm

2 hari lalu

South China Sea Dispute; Retno Marsudi Requests for Peace Paradigm

ASEAN always aims to resolve disputes such as in the South China Sea, through non-military confrontation, says Minister Retno Marsudi


Malaysia PM Anwar Ibrahim to Visit Indonesia, Ministry Says

3 hari lalu

Malaysia PM Anwar Ibrahim to Visit Indonesia, Ministry Says

Both Malaysia and Indonesia have expressed a desire to maintain good relations after Anwar became prime minister.


China COVID-19 Lockdown; Protests Erupt in Xinjiang and Beijing after Deadly Fire

5 hari lalu

China COVID-19 Lockdown; Protests Erupt in Xinjiang and Beijing after Deadly Fire

Crowds took to the streets in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi after a deadly fire triggered anger over their prolonged COVID-19 lockdown.


Jokowi Congratulates Anwar Ibrahim on Becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia

7 hari lalu

Jokowi Congratulates Anwar Ibrahim on Becoming Prime Minister of Malaysia

President Jokowi in a phone call on Thursday congratulates the newly appointed Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.


China's COVID-19 Infections Hit Record as Economic Outlook Darkens

7 hari lalu

China's COVID-19 Infections Hit Record as Economic Outlook Darkens

China reported record-high COVID-19 infections on Thursday with cities nationwide imposing localized lockdowns, mass testing, and other curbs.


Anwar Ibrahim Named New Malaysian PM

8 hari lalu

Anwar Ibrahim Named New Malaysian PM

Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, has been named as the Prime Minister of Malaysia


Beijing Shuts Parks, Museums as China's COVID-19 Cases Rise

9 hari lalu

Beijing Shuts Parks, Museums as China's COVID-19 Cases Rise

Beijing shuts parks, shopping malls, and museums as China fights a spike in Covid-19 cases