China appreciates the “Quiet Diplomacy” approach taken by Malaysia in handling the South China Sea issue, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
“In another word, they like our non-confrontational approach by using diplomacy as a channel to resolve a complex issue,” he said after a bilateral meeting with China’s President, Xi JinPing here, today.
President Xi also said that China has deep political mutual trust with Malaysia and “enjoys good working relationship with me.”
Any concerns with regard to South China Sea is conveyed to China in various meetings, he said after the 45-minute meeting held on the sideline of the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in Manila.
The meeting was requested by China.
Asked what were the concerns, he said: “That we should not rancher up tension in the area, we should ensure that the area continues to be peaceful because peace and stability are prerequisites for prosperity.”
On the presence of U.S Naval Ship in the South China Sea, Najib said: “We have to accept the fact that U.S sees itself as a pacific power and will continue to be so.”
“In other words, the relations between the United States and China – the two super powers in the region will be the key determinant of whether South China Sea and other parts of the world will continue to be one of peace and stability.”
Najib believes the issue will continue to be discussed at the ASEAN Summit that will take place in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend.
“It will be discussed. We have discussed it before. So, it is nothing new but the issue is in what context,” he noted.
Najib had said before that ASEAN should be guided by its principles of settling dispute in an amicable manner and based on international laws when dealing with the disputed South China Sea claims.
He said parties involved in the dispute should not engage in activities that would increase tension.
“There are concerns expressed by ASEAN as a group but nations should be guided by the principles enunciated in settling disputes in a very amicable and negotiated manner, (they) must adhere to the international law such as UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea),” he said.