Malaysia summons Chinese envoy for second time since June, over vessels in South China Sea

  • For the second time in 2021, Malaysia has summoned the Chinese envoy in the country to protest Beijing’s activities in the disputed South China Sea, where the Southeast Asian nation has considerable oil and gas fields.
  • In a four-paragraph statement released late on Monday, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Chinese ambassador Ouyang Yujing was summoned “to convey Malaysia’s position and protest against the presence and activities of Chinese vessels, including a survey vessel, in Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone off the coasts of Sabah and Sarawak”.
  • The protest came a day after Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in an interview the government would not “compromise on sovereignty” relating to the sea dispute.
  • Officials have long complained about Chinese coastguard vessels loitering around the South Luconia Shoals off Sarawak.
  • As granted under Unclos, Malaysia claims waters in the South China Sea that extend 200 nautical miles from its coast. This includes an extended continental shelf claim it jointly submitted with Vietnam in 2009.
  • The démarche on 4 Oct 21 was Malaysia’s second this year. In Jun 21, it summoned ambassador Ouyang after 16 Chinese transport planes flew close to Malaysia’s national air space without prior notification, a move that triggered Kuala Lumpur to scramble its own fighter jets.

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