Continue to side with a suiciding and declining America and be crushed by a neighboring China, or slowly choose sides with the Asian superpower and live peacefully under its umbrella protectorate. That’s the choice Malaysia (and eventually others) has to face.
Malaysia has allowed the Chinese navy to use its Kota Kinabalu port, close to the Philippines and the Spratly Archipelago, in what analysts say is an effort not to take sides in the territorial disputes in the region.
The agreement was made when Admiral Wu Shengli, commander of the PLA Navy, visited Malaysia last week. Chinese ships would be able to use the port in Malaysian Borneo as a “stopover location”, reported US magazine the National Interest.
Having ports as supply stops along significant routes has been a long-term plan for the Chinese navy, said Shanghai-based military analyst Ni Lexiong.
The plan includes building its own naval bases, like China has been doing on the man-made islands in the Spratly and Paracel islands, as well as acquiring access to ports in other countries in strategic locations.
One day after the Kota Kinabalu agreement, China also secured usage rights to land for state-owned China Overseas Port Holding Company at the port of Gwadar in Pakistan – situated at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, just outside the Strait of Hormuz.
In the South China Sea, Malaysia did not want to directly confront China, according to Hoo Tiang Boon of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. He said this was in contrast to the Philippines and Vietnam, which were strengthening ties with the United States in the face of China’s increased military presence.
Full article: PLA Navy gains use of port in Malaysia close to Spratly islands (South China Morning Post)