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Maintaining robust ties with US, China makes sense – Experts

Maintaining robust ties with US, China makes sense – Experts

15 Nov 2023

Malaysia’s approach in pursuing robust relations with both China and the United States without being pushed to choose one side over the other is beneficial in securing our national interests, experts say.

Universiti Malaya Institute of China Studies deputy director Dr Peter Ngeow Chow Bing said that both China and the United States are important partners to Malaysia.

“Each of them offers different benefits and advantages in their respective cooperation with Malaysia.

“As such, maintaining robust ties with both powers makes sense from the perspective of securing our national interests.”

He said there is still room to maintain a non-aligned posture between China and the United States despite the current global situation.

“However, depending on certain issues, Malaysia will be more aligned with one power or the other,” he said.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in his talk titled Superpower Rivalry and Rising Tensions in the Asia Pacific: The View from Southeast Asia at the University of California, Berkeley said that engaging both major powers provides Malaysia with more strategic space to advance its national interests, and Putrajaya would continue to approach its relations with the superpowers pragmatically and judiciously.

Anwar also said US investments had helped to propel Malaysia’s economy as a trading nation and Putrajaya remained committed to its friendship with the superpower.

However, at the same time, he said China was also a neighbour which had matured in terms of its economic vibrancy where Malaysia would benefit immensely by engaging them as they had remained a very reliable friend and ally.

Geostrategist Dr Azmi Hassan said that positioning Malaysia strategically between the global superpowers of US and China, through the pursuit of robust relations, is a move that can yield benefits for the nation from both countries.

“China is our largest trading partner and the US is our second largest trading partner.

“What we are doing right now is that we are being friendly to both of these superpowers, where we can benefit economically.

“There is nothing new regarding our foreign policy (in this matter), especially in the relation of the US and China,” he said.

Echoing the same perspective is Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Centre for Media and Information Warfare Studies security and political analyst Dr Nirwandy Mat Noordin.

He said the multilateral stance helps Malaysia to manoeuvre along the global uncertainties and maintain the prosperity in the perspective of economic cooperations, social and security values.

“The decision has enabled us to gain recognition, as we refrain from aligning excessively with any superpower nations, including China and the US.

“Our aim is to cultivate positive bilateral objectives that sustain economic cooperation and enhance overall relations between both countries,” he said.

Source: NST