Malaysia — In yet another blow to American imperialism in Asia-Pacific, it was reported Friday that the Southeast Asian country of Malaysia is set to purchase security patrol vessels from China in a first of its kind deal.
“Malaysia will sign a contract to purchase Littoral mission ships from China when Prime Minister Najib Razak visits Beijing next week,” Reuters writes. “The purchase of the patrol vessels, if it proceeds, would be Malaysia’s first significant defense deal with China and comes amid rising tensions in the South China Sea as the United States and China compete for influence in the region.”
The only question about whether or not the sale will go through links back to the manner in which the information was revealed.
On Tuesday, just days before Prime Minister Razak departed for a week-long visit to China, Malaysia’s Ministry of Defense posted the following text to Facebook, taken from a speech by Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein:
“On November 5, 2016, the Defense Ministry will sign a contract for the procurement of Littoral Mission Ships (LMS) with SASTIND (the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense), which is an important part of the schedule during the Prime Minister’s official visit to China.”
The post was removed after Reuters contacted a Malaysian Defense Ministry spokesperson, who declined to comment.
A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry, however, while stating he was“unclear about the specifics of the situation,” confirmed that China and Malaysia are continuing to “cooperate and communicate regularly across all spheres.”
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