Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia] October 4 (ANI): A former Chief Minister of Malaysia's Sabah province on Sunday expressed concerns over Beijing's intrusion in the South China Sea and said that the action has sent a clear message that China is determined to control the region.
Datuk Seri Salleh, who is the former Chief Minister of Sabah state of Malaysia said that "the huge presence of nearly 100 China vessels spotted to have entered into the waters of South China Sea is a clear message that the country is serious about wanting to control the South China Sea", Daily Express reported.
The Chinese government claims nearly 90 per cent of the resource-rich South China Sea, based on what it calls its nine-dash line, which has been fiercely challenged by its neighbours including Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. China's claim was ruled in 2016 by a UN tribunal to have no legal basis - a verdict Beijing has rejected.
"Beijing ignored the fact that such action was an intrusion and violation of the sovereignty of countries in the region," Datuk added.
The incident of 100 Chinese vessels entering the South China sea has been spotted by the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the former CM also said that these intrusions are affecting Malaysia as well, adding that in June, the Malaysian Air Force had detected a suspicious flight by 16 China military aircraft which flown into the airspace of Malaysia's maritime zone in Kota Kinabalu and close to the national air space.
"This intrusion can't be taken lightly and the incident should be treated as a reminder to our country to always be prepared for any possibility in the future," he said.
The actions of China in the South China Sea have caused trouble for countries in the region.
China also claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
China has also been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months. (ANI)