PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Malaysia will maintain its claim in the disputed South China Sea area despite China's objection to Malaysia's submission of the claim to the United Nations last month, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
The minister said the ministry has expected Beijing's move and described it as "normal”.
"For China to object is something that we expect. This is normal. I’m not saying we are okay about it, but it is our claim and we will maintain that, ” he told a press conference at Wisma Putra here Friday (Jan 3).
When asked about the ministry's next course of action, he said: "It depends, but the unusual end game is (for it to go to) arbitration.”
Saifuddin also said Malaysia is unafraid of retaliation from China.
"If we are to fear that, we will not submit our claim," he said.
The minister, when listing Wisma Putra’s achievement in 2019, said that Malaysia has submitted to the UN secretary-general on Dec 12,2019, its claim to the remaining portions of its extended continental shelf at the northern area of Dangerous Ground in the South China Sea (Claim Area Limits of Continental Shelf Phase II).
The South China Morning Post reported last month that China has protested against Malaysia's filing to the UN and has urged the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to not consider Malaysia’s submission.
In the report, Beijing also accused Malaysia of infringing on its sovereignty following the submission. - Bernama