News / Asia

Malaysia PM Visits China Following Tensions Over MH370

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (L) speaks to China's Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, May 29, 2014.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (L) speaks to China's Premier Li Keqiang during a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, May 29, 2014.
Shannon Van Sant
— Malaysia’s prime minister is in China this week for talks with top officials about Kuala Lumpur’s handling of disappeared Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
 
During Prime Minister Najib Razak six-day visit he will meet with China’s leaders, but not with relatives of the passengers of flight MH370.  
 
Two-thirds of the 239 passengers on the flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing were Chinese, and their families say they are still looking for closure nearly three months after the plane disappeared.
 
“As a human being, the plane was from Malaysia, it was flying from Malaysia, it belonged to a Malaysian company, I think they should be responsible,” said Steve Wang, whose mother was on the plane when it disappeared. Wang said Najib’s decision angers many of the relatives.

'Friendship Year'

This year was supposed to be the “Malaysia-China Friendship Year” and Malaysia had launched an advertising campaign to draw Chinese tourists, who account for some 12 percent of Malaysia’s annual tourist arrivals.  
 
Realtions between the two countries worsened, though, after flight MH370 disappeared early on the morning of March 8. Malaysian officials took days to release information from radar and satellites about the plane’s whereabouts, slowing the search effort. China’s foreign ministry publicly rebuked Malaysia for its handling, and allowed relatives to protest in front of the Malaysia embassy.
 
Months later, there are no signs that authorities are any closer to locating the plane. This week coordinators in Australia said that after searching some 850 square kilometers for the plane using an unmanned submersible vehicle, they are expanding the search area to as much as 60,000 square kilometers.
 
Joseph Cheng, a professor of political science at the City University of Hong Kong, said that while the plane’s disappearance is an embarrassment to Malaysia and will have a short-term impact on tourism, government-to-government relations will remain strong.  
 
“Malaysia is very rich in resources which is coveted by China, and China certainly is eager to expand trade with Malaysia and step up investment there,” said Cheng.

Trading partners

Malaysia and China are the largest trading partners of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with annual trade reaching $106 billion last year. Cheng said the United States’ pivot to Asia provides further incentive for China to strengthen ties with its Southeast Asian neighbor.  
 
“Malaysia is one of those countries in ASEAN that China would very much like to cultivate, because the Malaysian leadership has certain reservations about western values and about moving too close to the United States,” Cheng said.
 
While Malaysia and China claim overlapping territories in the South China Seas, Malaysia’s criticism of China on that issue has been muted.  The two countries have also strengthened military ties and launched joint military drills last year.  

Nearly one quarter of Malaysia’s population is ethnically Chinese, and Chinese blogger Michael Anti said criticism of Malaysia from Chinese Internet users over the disappearance of Flight MH370 has been overtaken by other events in recent months.
 
“Compared to the Chinese attitude to Vietnam, to the Philippines, to Japan, we can say the sentiment to Malaysia has already come back to normal,” Anti said.
 
In 1974, Malaysia became the first Southeast Asian country to establish diplomatic relations with China. This week, Prime Minister Razak will meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to mark 40 years of diplomatic ties.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Giger from: hollywood FL USA
May 29, 2014 10:53 PM
BTW question: Can we see the logs,tapes and videos of Your,NK's and Mr Putin's fighter jets in the bay of Thailand 8mar2014 ? … just curiosity as friends .


by: Bhalanee from: USA
May 29, 2014 1:00 PM
sour grapes . Only bring out negative things to promote or instigate conflicts in any nation which s not Obama 's barking or walking dog.
Ths pst is unlikely be payed. But let you know that America voice us suck and despised by most t people in the globe. But even without this,, your rotten reputation has been well established.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid