COMMENT | There was a time when the Sino-Malaysia relationship was the gold standard of Southeast Asia. Why was this the case?
First of all, great powers like the US had begun to acknowledge China in 1971.
By recognising the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971 as the “true” representative of mainland China in the United Nations (UN), it triggered a strategic turn across the world.
China, not Taiwan (otherwise known as the Republic of China), became a permanent member of the United Nations' Security Council (UNSC), thus holding the much-valued veto power. In a flash, China was catapulted to the top.
It became one of the five key members of the highest decision-making system of the international order.
China, in other words, acquired a final say in everything ranging from war to economic sanctions, which it exercised judiciously either by blocking other members of the security council from going to war or staying neutral on the side.
Malaysia cannot take credit for all of China's foreign policy achievement since the 1970s of course. Nor does it want to.
But friends are there to remind each other how they each made it to the top. As it is, China is now at the apex of the international hierarchy by virtue of what Malaysia was able to do.
By opening a pathway for China to be a key power in the UN....