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Malaysia summons Chinese envoy to protest disputed South China Sea

KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia late Monday summoned Beijing’s envoy to the South-east Asian country in protest after Chinese vessels entered its maritime financial sector in the disputed South China Sea.

Kuala Lumpur summoned Chinese ambassador Ouyang Yujing “to convey Malaysia’s role and protest against the presence and activities of Chinese vessels, including a survey vessel, in Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone”, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry accused China of going in opposition to local and global law with the presence of its ships off the coast of Sabah and Sarawak states, on the Malaysian part of Borneo island.

Monday’s move used to be the second time this year Malaysia has summoned Beijing’s envoy to protest Chinese activity related to the hotly contested waters.

In June, Malaysia scrambled fighter jets to intercept sixteen Chinese military aircraft that appeared off Borneo over the South China Sea, where it has overlapping territorial claims with Beijing.

Malaysia accused China of breaching its sovereignty, while Beijing said the flight was once routine training.

Malaysia-China relations are usually warm but have been ruffled via current tension-raising incidents over the sea, which is home to key shipping lanes and is believed to harbour rich oil and fuel deposits.

“Malaysia’s steady position and actions are based on global law, in defence of our sovereignty and sovereign rights in our waters,” the foreign ministry assertion said Monday, including the country, had “also protested against the previous encroachments with the aid of different foreign vessels, not our waters”.

China has laid declare to nearly all of the South China Sea and has constructed numerous military outposts on small islands and atolls, angering others with competing claims to the waters, along with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan.

The United States has also despatched warships via the waters to assert global rights to freedom of navigation, angering China.

Malaysia-China relations are normally heated but have been ruffled by way of current tension-raising incidents over the sea, which is home to key shipping lanes and is believed to harbour rich oil and fuel deposits.

“Malaysia’s regular position and actions are based on international law, in defence of our sovereignty and sovereign rights in our waters,” the foreign ministry announcement said Monday, including the country, had “also protested against the preceding encroachments via different foreign vessels, not our waters”.

China has laid declare to nearly all of the South China Sea and has constructed numerous military outposts on small islands and atolls, angering others with competing claims to the waters, including Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan.

The United States has also despatched warships via the waters to assert global rights to freedom of navigation, angering China.

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