Malaysia protests presence of Chinese vessels in its waters

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Malaysia summoned the Chinese ambassador to Kuala Lumpur on Monday to specific its protest towards the “encroachment” into its waters by Beijing’s vessels, the overseas ministry mentioned.

The protest was over the “presence and activities” of Chinese vessels, together with a survey vessel, in Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone off the coasts of the japanese states of Sabah and Sarawak, the ministry mentioned in an announcement on Monday.

It didn’t say when the vessels had been detected in Malaysian waters.

“Malaysia’s consistent position and actions are based on international law, in defence of our sovereignty and sovereign rights in our waters,” the overseas ministry mentioned.

The Chinese embassy in Kuala Lumpur didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Last week, media reported {that a} Chinese survey vessel was in Malaysian waters off the coast of Sabah, close to a vessel commissioned by Malaysian state vitality agency Petronas.

Last 12 months, one other Chinese survey ship held a month-long standoff with an oil exploration vessel contracted by Petronas inside Malaysia’s unique financial zone. China had then mentioned the vessel was conducting regular actions.

Malaysia’s overseas ministry additionally mentioned that each one issues associated to the South China Sea should be resolved peacefully and constructively.

“In determining Malaysia’s position and course of action with regard to the South China Sea issue, which is complex and involves inter-State relations, Malaysia’s national interests will remain of paramount importance,” it mentioned.

China claims virtually all the energy-rich South China Sea, by means of which about $3 trillion value of ship-borne commerce passes yearly.

Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have overlapping claims.

The Philippines and Vietnam have accused China of harassing fishermen and vitality actions in South China Sea waters.

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi and Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Himani Sarkar