Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Malaysia summons Chinese envoy to protest ‘presence’ of Beijing ships in its waters

Malaysia on Monday summoned the Chinese ambassador for the second time since June to “protest” the presence of Chinese ships in the country’s exclusive economic zone, the foreign ministry said.

The Malaysian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it called on Ambassador Ouyang Yujing to “inform Malaysia of the situation” and to protest the “presence and activities” of Beijing’s ships, including a survey vessel, in Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak.

It is not clear when the Chinese ships were detected in Malaysian waters, or how many were involved.

“The presence and activities of these ships are inconsistent with Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone Act 1984 as well as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” the statement said.

“Malaysia’s continued position and actions are based on international law, in defense of our sovereignty and sovereign rights in our waters,” the foreign ministry said.

The Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A day earlier, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yacoub insisted that the government “will not compromise on our sovereignty” if there is a threat in the South China Sea. He said that when he was the Defense Minister in the past, he had raised the same issue several times with the national representatives.

“Malaysia’s national interest will be paramount in determining Malaysia’s position and course of action with respect to the South China Sea issue, which is complex and involves interstate relations,” the ministry said.

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Last week, media reported that a ship commissioned by Malaysian state energy firm Petronas had a Chinese survey vessel in Malaysian waters off the coast of Sabah.

Last year, another Chinese survey ship held a month-long standoff with an oil exploration vessel contracted by Petronas within Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone. China had then said that the ship was carrying out normal activities.

Malaysia’s foreign ministry said on Monday that all matters related to the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully and constructively.

Malaysia summoned the Chinese ambassador in June after the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) detected military aircraft near Malaysian airspace.

A statement at the time said, “RMAF confirms that 16 People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft are entering Malaysia Maritime Zone (ZMM) airspace and were flying close to our national airspace.” “

Beijing said it was part of a “routine training”.

China claims almost all of the energy-rich South China Sea, through which approximately $3 trillion of ship-borne trade passes annually.

Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims.

The Philippines and Vietnam have accused China of harassing fishermen and energy activities in the waters of the South China Sea.

Reuters contributed to this report.

isabelle van bruggen

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Isabel van Bruggen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter at The Epoch Times. He holds a Masters in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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