China’s military assets in disputed islands, Malaysia seeks clarification

Dec 16, 2016
Defence Minister Hishammuddin.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin.

Malaysia will seek clarification from China on reports that it had positioned its military assets on disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein will be writing a letter to his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan and US Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter to investigate the veracity of the claims.

Hishammuddin was responding to images published by US-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (Amti).

“If the images prove to be (genuine), it is cause for serious concern, because it may raise tensions and undermine peace and stability in the region.

“If the claims are true, it would force Malaysia into a pushback against China,” he told reporters today.

Hishammuddin said that Malaysia echoed the Philippines’ position that the Amti report – which allegedly depicts Chinese military assets situated on disputed islands in the South China Sea – needed to be independently verified.