KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will seek clarification from China on reports that the Republic has positioned its military assets on disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he will be writing a letter to his counterparts in China, as well as the US Secretary of Defence, to investigate the veracity of the claims.
Hishammuddin is responding to images published by US-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI).
"I will write a letter to China’s Minister of Defence and State Councillor, General Chang Wanquan and US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, regarding this development.
"If the images prove to be (genuine), it is cause for serious concern, because it may raise tensions and undermine peace and stability in the region," he said.
Hishammuddin added that Malaysia echoes the Philippines' position that the AMTI report – which allegedly depicts Chinese military assets situated on disputed islands in the South China Sea – needs to be independently verified.
"If the claims are true, it would force Malaysia into a 'pushback' against China," he told reporters at the Ministry of Defence at Jalan Padang Tembak here today.
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