PUTRAJAYA, August 31 – Malaysia does not recognize China’s claims in the South China Sea as outlined in the 2023 China Standard Map Edition that includes the maritime areas of the country. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) emphasized that the map does not bind Malaysia in any way. As the government has reiterated regarding the issue of the South China Sea, including maritime boundaries, Malaysia consistently rejects any claims of sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction by any foreign parties over maritime features or maritime areas of our country based on the 1979 New Map of Malaysia, said MOFA in a statement on Wednesday.

The ministry clarified that the issue needs to be handled peacefully and rationally through dialogue and negotiations based on international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982). Malaysia is committed to continuing cooperation to ensure that all parties implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) comprehensively and effectively. Furthermore, the country is also committed to the effective and substantive negotiation process of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), with the goal of finalizing the COC as soon as possible.

On Tuesday, China released the new map that covers most of Malaysia’s waters near Sabah and Sarawak, as well as some areas in India that China claims to belong to them. The 2023 China Standard Map Edition also incorporates disputed areas, including its claims over Arunachal Pradesh, the Aksai Chin region, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. This also involves the maritime area of Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near Sabah and Sarawak, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

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