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Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim Defends Ties with China over U.S. Demands

In an interview with South China Morning Post in Hong Kong on June 15, Anwar “made it clear he will not get caught up in China-U.S. geopolitical tensions and be pressured into picking a side, playing down territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the risk of sanctions as he looks to fast track his country’s transition to a hi-tech economy through stronger economic and strategic ties with Beijing.”

Anwar told SCMP he has no interest in “antagonizing” the U.S., but “we will not succumb to that sort of pressure. It is no longer neocolonialism or colonial rule. We are an independent nation.”

China ranked as Malaysia’s top trading partner for a 15th straight year in 2023, while the U.S. has retained its spot as the Southeast Asian nation’s top investment partner over the same period, reported SCMP.

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