Malaysian Prime Minister does not want to offend China

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in his opening address for the 26th ASEAN Summit held yesterday in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia that “it is natural that almost any occurrence there will attract attention.”

He emphasized that “ASEAN must address these developments in a proactive, but also in a positive and constructive way.”

“While we continue our engagement and cooperative relationships with countries outside ASEAN, we need to peacefully manage differences closer to home, including overlapping maritime claims, without increasing tensions,” the Malaysian Prime Minister said.

“Respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, must be the basis of the rules of engagement and activities in the South China Sea. As Chairman, Malaysia hopes that we will achieve progress in our efforts towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct,” he added.

In a press conference, Najib said “we will continue to engage China in a constructive way. We hope to be able to influence China. It is also in their interest not to be seen as confronting ASEAN and that any attempt to destabilize this region will not benefit China either.”

Philippines actively suggested to ASEAN members to voice out against China’s activities in South China Sea. Joint statement of ASEAN leaders is yet to be released.