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China-Malaysia maritime dispute may intensify

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Significance

Malaysia scrambled fighter jets to intercept them and issued a rare public complaint against China.

Impacts

  • The Chinese air force will enter the area again in the future, for both training and patrols.
  • The Malaysian military will respond in the air and publicly to these incursions.
  • The likelihood of mid-air incidents will increase as Malaysia’s air force scrambles aircraft to monitor Chinese activities.
  • Malaysia will defy Beijing but not adopt an openly confrontational position publicly, hoping to avoid economic punishment by China.
  • Malaysia will be cautious in any security cooperation with Western partners, to avoid making an enemy of China.

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