Date: Nov 14, 2015
KOTA KINABALU, MALAYSIA – Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister said the country must
defend encroachment of its sovereignty in a veiled swipe at China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, as tensions flared ahead of a regional meeting that Beijing will attend.
Without directly referring to China, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi questioned why land was being reclaimed on coral areas close to Malaysia’s shores. “If our country is threatened or being encroached, we Malaysians should rise to defend our country,” he told a gathering in Kota Kinabalu, the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo island.
Beijing, which claims almost the entire energy-rich South China Sea through which US$5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes to yearly, has stepped up land reclamation and construction in disputed islands and reefs. [FULL STORY]