BEIJING: Malaysia will not allow any big power to dictate its decision and future direction, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.
He asserted that as a free and independent state, Malaysia will defend its sovereignty and decide what is best for the country.
"Nobody should dictate us. As a free and independent nation, we will decide what is best for us. And we decide based on core values and principles, which are to make sure that we have good governance and policies that will benefit the country and the people.
"We should also maintain this position in Asean because Asean was set up as a free and neutral zone,” he said in response to a question on the China-US rivalry, during a public lecture at the renowned Tsinghua University here on Friday (March 31).
The Prime Minister who is currently on his maiden official visit here this week said he has been seen as pro-China but as a trading nation, he said Malaysia wants to build excellent relationships with all countries, including China and the United States.
He said Malaysia does not see China as a competitor nor a threat although there may be some disagreements between the two countries.
"Since there is no outright threat from China, we are happy to be a good neighbour, a friend and to benefit from their success,” he said.
Anwar said China and the US must also understand that the dynamic of international diplomacy today has changed and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict is affecting the whole world.
"The period of colonisation and new imperialism is gone. No country can dictate (anybody). People want to assert their independence and decide what is best for themselves and their country,” he said. - Bernama