Najib tells West to stop 'lecturing' as Malaysia embraces China

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak inside the high speed train that transported the Malaysian delegationfrom Beijing to Tianjin a 138.6km journey that took only 30 minutes. Bernama

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned that several deals being inked by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak with China may end up threatening Malaysia's sovereignty.

The Prime Minister's interview to the Time Magazine last week, in which he praised the United States" foreign policy while running down China's as a "lollipop' one may have angered the Chinese further.

"Winning over Malaysia is a major coup for China considering Najib's previous support for the U.S. pivot and his reported warm personal ties with President Barack Obama", said Tang Siew Mun, a senior fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. But later he was gradually oriented toward China, the largest trading partner of Malaysia.

"Malaysia being a South China Sea claimant, and hot on the heels of Duterte, there is an obvious symbolism there", said Euan Graham, director of the worldwide security program at the Lowy Institute in Sydney.

Najib, who is on a six-day visit to China, described the deal as "landmark", because "before this we have not bought such vessels from China", he wrote in an editorial in the China Daily on Wednesday.

Observers say Najib is leaning towards China after the U.S. Justice Department implicated him in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, a claim he has repeatedly denied. Territory in the South China Sea, which is completely claimed by China, is also claimed by Malaysia, and a number of other countries.

"After the much-hyped promise of Middle-Eastern petrodollars-led investment boom in Malaysia failed to materialise, the Prime Minister is turning to Beijing to not only jumpstart our economy, but also to help him clean up his multi-billion dollar 1MDB mess", said Pua.

Najib will be discussing a high-speed rail project as well as real estate and energy deals with China, but it is his promise to sign "the first significant defense deal" between the two nations that comes as something of a surprise.

Najib spurns West was posted in World of TheNews International - https://www.thenews.com.pk on November 03, 2016 and was last updated on November 03, 2016.

Malaysia may be following in the footsteps of the Philippines as it becomes the second South Asian country to agree to hold bilateral talks with China on means to resolve any dispute regarding the South China Sea.

China is willing to enhance communication and collaboration with Malaysia for better China-ASEAN relations and regional peace and stability, he said.

He added that China's action may undermine the centrality of ASEAN in resolving regional issues such as overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea.

China would probably also offer the vessels at a very attractive rate that would likely not include full upfront payment, Grevatt said.

Najib said he also raised concerns on air connectivity hoping that the Chinese government could review the flight time for AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines to the republic, as the existing flights only depart after midnight or in the wee hours of the morning.

"I think there's a mischaracterization here".

Najib told Malaysian state news agency Bernama that both countries had made a historic achievement by signing 14 agreements totaling 143.64 billion ringgit ($34.4 billion).

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