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Malaysia and India have pushed back on China’s recent ‘standard map,’ which displays extensive claims over the South China Sea, areas near India, and encompassing regions close to the Malaysian Borneo.

As per the 2016 international court decision, China’s ‘nine-dash line’, representing its claim over vast portions of the South China Sea, was deemed baseless, with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) taking precedence. This disputed sea has witnessed escalating tensions due to China’s amplified territorial assertions, resulting in skirmishes with other claimants like Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, and Taiwan.

In a statement, the Malaysian foreign ministry said, “Malaysia does not recognize China’s claims in the South China Sea as outlined in the ‘2023 edition of the standard map of China’, which extends into the Malaysian maritime area. The map has no binding effect on Malaysia.”

This latest territorial map from China has also irked India, showcasing the Indian territories of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin plateau as part of China. Responding to this, Arindam Bagchi, India’s foreign ministry spokesman, said, “We reject these claims as they have no basis. Such steps by the Chinese side only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.”

Meanwhile, China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, addressing India’s objections, mentioned that the map embodies China’s “exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law” and advised concerned parties to avoid “over-interpreting the issue.”

Jon

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