Chinese submarine docked in Malaysia on its second visit this year amid Western concern over Beijing’s efforts to expand its influence in the South China Sea.
China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, through which it has a trade worth three trillion dollars a year, and demands Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan to take over parts of the sea.
The tension between China and Malaysia over sovereignty at sea appears to have receded after Malaysia agreed in November to buy four Chinese ships and pledged with Beijing to resolve the dispute through bilateral dialogue.
The Malaysian Royal Navy confirmed the visit of the Chinese submarine, which docked at the Seabangar naval base in the Sabah state of Borneo.
Malaysian Royal Navy Commander Admiral Ahmad Qamar-Zaman Ahmad Badruddin said welcoming foreign ships was a well-known international procedure.
“This is part of our efforts to strengthen defense diplomacy and strengthen bilateral relations,” he told Reuters.
A Chinese submarine landed in Sibangar in January, according to official media.