MALAYSIA has flexed it’s military muscles as it launches anti-shop missile test in the South China Sea as a warning to Xi Jinping.
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) conducted the rare show in the disputed region following fresh tensions with China. China has been accused of harassing Malaysia and Vietnam’s oil and gas exploration ships for at least six weeks. The RMN’s last known firing of anti-ship missiles was conducted in 2014, Janes reported.
Malaysian defence minister Mohamad Bin Sabu said in a statement: “The success of the missile firings is proof that the RMN is able to undertake operations in the South China Sea.
“The execution of these exercises will assure the maritime community, especially those on the eastern seaboard of peninsular Malaysia, that the RMN and the Malaysian Armed Forces stand ready to uphold peace and defend their interests in the South China Sea.”
The missiles were fired from the service’s lead Kasturi (Type FS 1500)-class corvette, KD Kasturi (25) and a Super Lynx naval helicopter.
The operation comes after the risk of collision between Chinese and Malaysian vessels.
A Washington-based think tank found Malaysia sent two oil and gas supply vessels to the area, the Chinese coastguard vessel circled them provocatively, “coming to within 80 metres”, The South China Morning Post reported.
The think tank said: “Beijing appears to be committed to preventing new unilateral oil and gas activities by its neighbours.
“Given the close-quarters and provocative behaviour on display, there is a clear risk that an accidental collision could lead to escalation.
“China’s actions off both the Malaysian and Vietnamese coasts since May show that Beijing is increasingly willing to employ coercion and the threat of force to block oil and gas operations by its neighbours, even while pursuing its own energy exploration in disputed waters.”
China recently fired six anti-ship ballistic missiles at the end of June as dummy vessels were used as targets.
Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Dave Eastburn, labelled the tests “disturbing” and stated it goes against the Chinese President’ss 2015 election pledge to de-militarise the waters.
He said: “The Pentagon was aware of the launch of Chinese missiles from the artificial structures of the South China Sea near the Spratly Islands.
“What is really disturbing about this act is that it is in direct contradiction to President XI’s statement … that he would not militarize these artificial outposts.”
Source : Express