Malaysia consistently maintains good relations with China, US - Anifah

Malaysia consistently maintains good relations with China, US - Anifah
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman speaking at a talk themed 'Issues and Challenges in Managing Malaysia's Foreign Relations' at University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here today. - BERNAMA pic
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Malaysia has consistently and strategically maintained good relations with China and the United States (US), says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

He said the Prime Minister's recent visit to the US was a manifestation of the recognition of Malaysia as a significant global player.

The US was Malaysia's third largest trading partner while Malaysia was the 18th largest trading partner for the US in 2016, with bilateral trade with the US in 2016 having stood at US$32.78 billion.

"I do not think it would be far-fetched to conclude that at this point, Malaysia is one of the countries in the region with strong and stable relations with both the US and China," said Anifah in a talk themed 'Issues and Challenges in Managing Malaysia's Foreign Relations' at University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here today.
The foreign minister said he was proud that Malaysia was able to do so in the best possible way, not by duplicity, but by openness and honesty.

"We never play-off one country against the other. I'll let you on a secret - there are no secrets. The strategy of playing one opponent against the other assumes that secrets can be kept - with technological advancements, this is no longer possible," he added.

China's rise was a game changer both geopolitically and economically, he said, adding that as China grew economically, its interests had become more and more global and those were important developments which Malaysia welcomed.

Anifah said this growth was seen as an opportunity by Malaysia as it opened up more opportunities for increase in trade with China as it provided a market for Malaysian products.

With total bilateral trade of US$58.01 billion (RM240.91 billion) in 2016, China remains Malaysia largest trading partner.

On the human rights and dignity of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, Anifah explained that Malaysia disassociated itself from the ASEAN Chairman's statement on the Situation in the Rakhine State because the statement was not based on consensus.

He said Malaysia, while maintaining good bilateral relations with Myanmar, stood ready to assist Myanmar in finding a just, durable solution to the protracted issue in the Rakhine State.

-- BERNAMA