China, ASEAN should prevent "external disruption" in South China Sea: Wang Yi

China, ASEAN should prevent

The Foreign Minister announced this in a joint news conference following bilateral meetings with his visiting Chinese counterpart Wang Yi here. "Although the production process is still ongoing, the agreement between Malaysia and China is still an important development in our country's efforts to deal with this pandemic completely", Hishammuddin stated in a tweet today. To enhance cooperation in the post COVID-19 time, the two countries will set up a high level committee for cooperation led by the two foreign ministers and will formulate framework documents for inter-governmental cooperation so as to take forward the cooperation in various areas in a coordinated manner, and to bring the China-Malaysia comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level, he said.

The prime minister also announced that Malaysia has made a decision to join the global COVAX Covid-19 vaccine access plan co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) by making an initial payment of RM40 million.

On US-China relations, Hishammuddin said Malaysia hoped that both parties would resolve to strengthen their mutual trusts and continue to converge on dialogue as a way to manage the differences.

"The US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy in itself is a huge, hidden security risk, and if it keeps advancing, it will not only be a retrogression in history, but also mark a risky start".

It encroaches on the spirit of mutual benefit and win-win cooperation in East Asia, impacts the regional cooperation structure with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at its center, and it dampens the prospects of regional peace and development, he said.

"China is willing to work with Malaysia to deepen corporation in Covid-19 response and is willing to provide successfully developed Covid-19 vaccines based on Malaysia's need", Wang told Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a virtual meeting, because the Malaysian leader is in home quarantine.

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Mr Wang also urged Southeast Asian nations, which are aiming to draw up a code of conduct with China in the South China Sea, to remove "external disruption" in the disputed waters, but did not elaborate.

Both countries have agreed to advance China-ASEAN cooperation.

China's aggressive moves to assert its territorial claims in the South China Sea, through which a third of global shipping passes, have drawn rebuke from the United States and become a flashpoint for a region in which Southeast Asian nations Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei all have rival claims.

Wang described Washington's "Indo-Pacific" strategy, which aims to cast the United States as a trustworthy partner in the region, as a "security risk" for East Asia.

Both countries have agreed to step up cooperation in worldwide affairs.

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