China open to dialogue with Malaysia on South China Sea, says foreign ministry

The Chinese government says differences can be handled through consultation ‘in an appropriate manner’.

Beijing says China safeguards legitimate rights and interests in the South China Sea.

BEIJING: China would like to work with Malaysia to handle differences in the South China Sea through dialogue and consultation in an appropriate manner, its foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said earlier that he had told the Chinese government an exploration project by state energy firm Petronas in the South China Sea was within Malaysian waters, referring to an overlapping claim in the area by Beijing.

“China safeguards legitimate rights and interests in the South China Sea,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said, responding to a question about Malaysia’s warning of a protest note if there were “collisions” between Malaysian and Chinese vessels in the area.  FMT

PETRONAS to go on with oil and gas exploration amid overlapping claims by China, says Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR: PETRONAS will continue with its oil and gas operations in the South China Sea despite overlapping claims by China, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“The issue in the South China Sea was raised by both sides, particularly China, as PETRONAS has started large scale operations in an area claimed by that country.

“I raised this with (China’s) Premier Li Qiang and President Xi Jinping as we consider it Malaysian territory.

“As such, PETRONAS will continue with exploration in the area,” the Prime Minister said in reply to a supplementary question by Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan (PN-Kota Baru) in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (April 4).

PETRONAS has one of its biggest oil platforms in the South China Sea.

While Anwar did not name the specific area being contested, he was most likely referring to tensions revolving around the development of the Kasawari gas field in Block SK316, off Sarawak.

PETRONAS Carigali, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the national oil company, is the developer and operator of the Kasawari gas field.

Discovered in 2011, Kasawari has been under development for several years, and is estimated to hold about three trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas resources.

Scheduled to come on-stream this year, Kasawari is expected to produce up to 900 million cubic feet of gas per day.

Over the past few years, Beijing has been persistent in challenging its neighbours’ oil and gas activities within their own exclusive economic zones in the South China Sea.

The nine-dash line area claimed by China covers a large swathe of the South China Sea which overlaps with the exclusive economic zones claimed by Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Anwar reiterated Malaysia’s openness to talks with China over the overlapping claims.

“We cannot avoid negotiations as Asean feels that all overlapping claims must be resolved through negotiation.

“But for the time being, Malaysia is firm that the area is our territory,” he said.

On the presence of Chinese vessels in the contested area, Anwar said China claimed they were in international waters.

However, he added that Wisma Putra would monitor the situation and issue a protest note to China if there was encroachment.  ANN

Malaysia ready to negotiate with China on South China Sea: Anwar

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says the issue about competing claims in the resource-rich sealane was raised during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in China last week as the two countries seek to avoid tensions.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has said that Malaysia was prepared to negotiate the South China Sea dispute with Beijing to safeguard the country’s energy exploration efforts.

China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea — a strategic waterway through which trillions of dollars in trade pass annually — despite an international court ruling that Beijing’s assertion has no legal basis.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei all have overlapping claims in the sea, while the United States sends naval vessels through it to assert freedom of navigation in international waters.

Anwar — who was on a visit to Beijing recently — said on Monday that the “sensitive” issue was raised at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping as Malaysia’s state energy firm Petronas has its largest oil platform in the disputed area, as well as several exploration projects.

“I said, as a small country we need the resources, (like) oil and gas, we have to continue (exploration projects),” Anwar said during a monthly speech to staff at the Prime Minister’s Office.

“But if the condition is that there must be negotiations, then we are ready to negotiate.”

The premier did not provide further details on the conversation with Xi.

While asserting their claims in the South China Sea, Chinese authorities in recent years have ramped up its development of artificial islands, including outfitting some with military facilities and runways.

Regional nations have also accused Chinese vessels of harassing their fishing boats.

In 2021, Malaysia summoned Beijing’s envoy to the Southeast Asian country in protest after Chinese vessels entered its maritime economic zone in the disputed sea.

Earlier that year, it scrambled fighter jets to intercept 16 Chinese military aircraft that appeared off Borneo over the South China Sea. – https://www.trtworld.

Beijing concerned over South China Sea energy projects: Malaysia’s Anwar

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim tells parliament that Beijing was worried that state-owned energy company Petronas is carrying out a “major activity” in disputed seas but which is within Malaysia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has acknowledged that Beijing expressed concerns about energy activities by the Malaysian state firm Petronas in the South China Sea, even though Kuala Lumpur believes the projects are in its territory.

Anwar’s remarks come after he opened the door for negotiations with China earlier this week, in a sign of mounting pressure on Malaysia’s energy operations in waters that Beijing claims as its own.

Anwar recently visited China and held talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, through which at least $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade passes annually.

Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan  — the self-ruled island, and Vietnam have some overlapping claims.

Petronas operates oil and gas fields within Malaysia’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and has in recent years had several encounters with Chinese vessels.

China was worried that “Petronas has carried out a major activity at an area that is also claimed by China,” Anwar said on Tuesday, responding to a parliamentary question about his discussions on the South China Sea during his visit to China last week.

“I stressed… that Malaysia sees the area as Malaysian territory therefore Petronas will continue its exploration activities there,” Anwar said, without specifying an offshore project or a location.

But Malaysia is open for negotiations “if China feels this is their right”, Anwar said, adding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc feels that overlapping claims should be resolved by negotiations. – https://www.trtworld.

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