PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will maintain its claim on the disputed territories in the South China Sea despite China’s objection to its submission to the United Nations (UN) last month, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Friday (Jan 3).
He added that the ministry had expected Beijing’s move and described it as “normal”.
“For China to object is something that we expect, even before,” he told a press conference at Wisma Putra on Friday.
“This is normal. I’m not saying we are okay about it ... but it is our claim and we will maintain our claim.”
China claims most of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which trillions worth of goods are transported every year.
It has built artificial islands in the disputed waters also claimed by several Southeast Asian states.
In the Friday presser, Mr Saifuddin said Malaysia is unafraid of retaliation from China.
"If we are to fear that, we will not submit our claim," he said.
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The minister said Malaysia has submitted a claim to the UN Secretary-General on Dec 12, 2019.
The South China Morning Post reported last month that China protested against the filing and urged the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to not consider Malaysia’s submission.