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

    South Sudan Sends First Ever Official Olympic Team to Rio

    VOA caught up with Santino Kenyi, 16, one of three athletes who will compete in this year's summer games in Brazil

    Arrest of Malawi's 'Hyena' Man Highlights Clash of Ritual, Health and Women's Rights

    Ritual practice of deflowering young girls is blamed for spreading deadly AIDS virus

    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    VOA finds things Americans take for granted are special to foreigners

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora