Bait Al-Amanah (House of Trust) and NAHEL Endowment for Peace are organising a webinar titled “South China Sea Disputes: What it means to Malaysia-China Relations“
Malaysia and China have shared a very special relationship that dates back to the 19th century when Chinese traders first arrived at Malacca’s shores. Since then, China has been an important trade partner to Malaysia and is the largest investor for 13 years straight since 2008. Malaysia on the other hand is important to China as the Straits of Malacca connects the Indian Sea and the Pacific Ocean, providing the path to the busiest trading route in the world.
However, this long-established relationship is now facing a rough patch when the RMAF intercepted 16 PLAAF jet fighters over Malaysian airspace in the South China Sea. Wisma Putra had since summoned the Chinese Ambassador and issued a diplomatic note of protest.
With a number of military bases built on contested islands in South China Sea over the last decade, China is involved in multiple territorial disputes with Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, and Indonesia. Not only rich with diverse natural resources, but the sea is also the busiest shipping lane in the world- further amplifying the importance it plays for surrounding countries.
During the webinar, we will explore the history of Malaysia-China relations, provide context to understand the South China Sea disputes, analyse how will it affect Malaysia-China Relations, and discuss how best should Malaysia and China navigate this issue.