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Anwar: Malaysia has no issues with China, unaffected by US pressure

Publish date: Sun, 19 May 2024, 12:33 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: China remains an important neighbour to Malaysia, said Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In an interview on 'Talk To Al Jazeera', aired earlier this morning, the Prime Minister said Malaysia has had no issues with the economic giant.

He was asked if the United States had tried to dictate anything related to Malaysia's relations with China.

"We did explain that China is an important neighbour, and we've not had issues with them.

"And I think it is our duty, not only Malaysia's but Asean's, to be independent and observe the principle of neutrality and do what is best to focus on economic development, and therefore increasing trade and enhancing investments.

"That is being duly conveyed to the US."

Anwar, who is also Finance Minister, said the US had not openly asked Malaysia to downgrade its relationship with China.

"I know there have been missives, but we are not going to respond to that, because America cumulatively still is the largest investor in Malaysia, and new investments are still coming in.

"There is no bias in favour or against any country," he added.

During the interview, Anwar said China's sovereignty claim over the South China Sea was an issue, but not necessarily a tense development.

He said although one or two Asean countries had raised some concerns, Malaysia continued to use bilateral mechanisms to discuss and negotiate.

"We have problems with all our neighbours, I mean in terms of the position of borders, but we are negotiating with them… the borders with Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and with Indonesia. And Sabah and the Philippines. But it is not tense.

"It's civil, orderly discussions and negotiations, and I think this will continue. Asean is a very strong, cohesive force," said Anwar.

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