Not A Problem

SHAH ALAM: Not a problem. Foreign Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein has been reported in the media as saying that no China coast guard or naval ships have encroached Malaysian waters since 100 days ago, the time he had been appointed to head Wisma Putra. He was commenting on the Auditor General’s report which stated 89 China coast guard and naval vessels have encroached Malaysian Maritime Zone from 2016 to 2019.

From the Malay Mail.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Chinese coast guard and navy vessels have not been seen encroaching into Malaysian waters of late, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said.

He said bilateral ties between both countries have been strengthened further in the 100 days since he was appointed to helm Wisma Putra.

“One area I’ve had to work on since helming Wisma Putra is to improve Malaysia’s ties with China, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates so when we talk about South China Sea, of course the relationship with China is important.

“The latest, in the 100 days of helming Wisma Putra, Chinese vessels have not been seen in our waters, so how did we manage this? This is between us and the Chinese leadership… my stand is very clear, we will not compromise on our sovereignty,” he told a media conference in Parliament today.

USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS 10) conducts routine operations near the Panamanian flagged drillship, West Capella, May 12. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Brenton Poyser)

However, Greg Poling, a Senior Fellow for The Center for Strategic and International Studies Southeast Asia and the director Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative has debunked the minister’s claim. In his personal Twitter feed, Poling posted on July 16:

Malaysia’s FM says there have been no Chinese ships in Malaysian waters for 100 days. But there have been. Every. Single. Day.

CCG 5203 patrolled Luconia Shoals from Apr 2; replaced by 5204 on May 22; replaced by 5202 on July 7. Here it is today.

He also posted a photograph of an AIS data of the SCS which clearly showed a China Coast Guard ship as mentioned in his post.

Greg Poling tweet with a map showing the location of the China Coast Guard ship in our waters.

I have retweeted Poling’s post while tagging Hishammuddin. Hopefully the minister will respond though I was reminded by a colleague that he (Hishammuddin) had never responded to my social media posts. The only time he did, was to delete a Twitter post after I replied/retweeted on it.

Hishammuddin statement today.

Hishammuddin has issued a statement on what he said yesterday as well as in response to the US statement on South China Sea. On his statement that no China coast guard and navy vessels have been detected in Malaysia waters since he became Foreign Minister, he said he was not wrong and invoked another issue, the West Cappella issue, to justify his original statement.

*post updated with Hishammuddin statement.
— Malaysian Defence

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