Malaysiakini Letter

Mahathir's China visit has been a diplomatic disaster

Concerned China-Malaysia observer  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | The visit of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to China has been disastrous. Malaysians should now be worried.

No major new deals or investments were announced. All signings were essentially a continuation of what Najib's government started – a promise to buy more palm oil, the pre-agreed joint venture to sell Proton cars in China as well as an extension of the currency swap arrangement previously agreed to and carried out in the past.

Mahathir then had a joint press conference with Premier Li Keqiang and at the end when Mahathir said rich countries should not colonise others, Li said nothing and the session abruptly ended with him shaking hands with Mahathir with a forced smile. Then he frowned and walked off the stage. Not a word of thanks.

Watch the video:

Later that day, Mahathir also had a meeting with all-powerful president Xi Jinping. Most will note that there was no press conference – either by Mahathir, by Xi or jointly by both. In fact, there was no statement from President Xi after that meeting.

There was, however, a joint statement issued later by the foreign ministers of both countries which had no specifics and was basically diplomatic rhetoric about maintaining ties, etc.

Then the next morning, Mahathir announced the cancellation of the ECRL project, a part of China's prized One Belt One Road initiative, as well as the two pipeline projects.

This must have been a big slap in the face for China and is the clearest proof that all did not go well with Mahathir's visit to China.

Another two slaps were delivered when Mahathir said in Beijing, that China companies were forced to give 30 percent shares to BN – which he later admitted he had no proof of this claim. He also said he believes Jho Low is in China but again, says he has no proof. 

This is like telling the Chinese that they are engaging in corruption and they are harbouring criminals.

Actually, his visit has been a disaster and Malaysians must wonder if we need to prepare for retaliation.


The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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