Hishammudin to visit China to discuss Aukus situation

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will seek to determine Beijing's stance on the new security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, known as Aukus, the Dewan Rakyat was told Wednesday (Sept 22).

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that he was worried if the situation was not managed properly and diplomatically when dealing with the world superpowers, untoward incidents might be triggered that might affect the safety of the region.

He added that he was planning to make a short working visit to China in the near future to discuss the matter.

"I plan in the near future to make a visit there (China) to get the views of the country’s leadership, especially in the context of defense.

"And whether there will be any follow up actions from what had been announced by the three countries.

"We will try to look into it, but it is not an easy thing to balance between two great world powers, to see that our security and sovereignty in this region is defended," the Senior Minister (Security) said while delivering his closing speech for his ministry on the motion of thanks to the Royal Address today (Sept 22).

The US, UK, and Australia last week announced a new security partnership that seek to strengthen stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

As part of the deal, the US and UK would also assist Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines, which would allow the Australian navy to help counter Chinese nuclear-powered vessels in the region.

China immediately denounced the Aukus when its foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian described it as a Western allies partnership which "seriously undermined regional peace and stability as well as intensified the arms race".

Hishammuddin also noted that he had expressed Malaysia's position and concern to his Australian counterpart Peter Dutton over a phone call two days ago.

"And I have conveyed Malaysia's stance as stated by our Prime Minister, which is, the newly established trilateral security pact between the Australia, UK and US had created some concerns.

"This is because it has the potential to disrupt security and stability in the South-East Asia region," said Hishammuddin.

"Therefore, all parties should refrain from using any military action that can be considered provocative.

"In addition to the potential to increase tensions and trigger conflict in our region," he said.

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