According to the statement made, Malaysia intends to safeguard its rights in the South China Sea.

On Saturday, Malaysia reaffirmed its unwavering dedication to safeguarding its sovereign rights and interests in the South China Sea. This came after China expressed apprehension regarding Malaysian energy ventures in an area of the sea that China also asserts as its own.

On Tuesday, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim stated that China expressed concerns over the activities of state energy company Petronas in a section of the South China Sea that Malaysia claims as its own. Anwar also indicated that he was willing to engage in talks with China, but this drew censure from the opposition, which claimed that Anwar was endangering Malaysia’s sovereignty.

In response, the foreign ministry issued a statement on Saturday clarifying that Anwar’s remarks meant that Malaysia seeks to resolve all South China Sea issues peacefully while maintaining its stance without compromise.

“The Malaysian government is resolute and resolutely dedicated to safeguarding Malaysia’s maritime areas’ sovereignty, sovereign rights, and interests in the South China Sea,” stated the ministry.

China asserts sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, which sees approximately $3 trillion worth of ship-borne trade annually. Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have some intersecting claims.

Petronas is responsible for operating oil and gas fields within Malaysia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and has had a few run-ins with Chinese vessels in recent years.

China asserts its claim by marking a “nine-dash line” on its maps that extends as far as 1,500 km south of its mainland and encroaches upon the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia.

However, in 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that the nine-dash line lacks a legal foundation.

Anwar confirmed earlier this week that Petronas would continue its operations in the South China Sea.

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