KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10  — Malaysia has always been consistent in protecting its sovereignty, sovereign rights and interests in its exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“We do so unwaveringly in the face of all legitimate challenges and claims. In the South China Sea, we are seeing elements of major power rivalry seeping into the territorial disputes, intentionally or otherwise…

“For Malaysia’s part, we have always advocated for the peaceful and constructive settlement of all disputes, in accordance with the universally recognised norms and principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

“The continued militarisation of the maritime region coupled with the use of grey zone tactics to reinforce claims and stymy the lawful exploitation of resources is neither peaceful nor constructive.”

Anwar said this in his keynote address at the 36th Asia-Pacific Roundtable, which was also attended by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, here today.

Anwar also said that Malaysia must continue to ride on its good relations with both China and the United States to promote a stronger rules-and-norms-based order.

He said the order is not based on might, or the tendency to ignore the very rules and norms one preaches about when it is inconvenient, unconducive and hypocritical.

“What’s good for the goose must be good for the gander… So, it must be an order based on fairness, respect and understanding, compassion and international law.

“In our estimation, both China and the US have affirmed their commitment to it…it must go beyond multilateral trade dealings to the realm of a practical geostrategic architecture,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media after the event,  Anwar said he is scheduled to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Penang tomorrow.

“We will discuss bilateral issues, economic trade and also some other issues related to both countries… We have excellent relations now, and I think I want to enhance it,” he added.


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