As Maritime Silk Road takes root, China docks submarine in Malaysia
- For the first time, a Chinese submarine has docked at a port in Malaysia, signaling deepening military ties between the two countries, which are already partners in the development of the Beijing- led Maritime Silk Road (MSR).
- The four day stopover of submarine at the port of Kota Kinabalu, is being seen as a trigger for elevated tensions in the South China Sea (SCS).
- The Malaysian port has a naval base facing the SCS.
- It was the second confirmed port visit by a Chinese submarine, following a visit to Sri Lanka in 2014.
- Docking of Chinese submarine signals the emergence of special ties between Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. The visit of the submarine is adding a prominent military dimension to China’s ties with Malaysia which is fast emerging as Beijing’s top partner, close to Strait of Malacca, along Maritime Silk Road.
- The Malacca industrial park is part of the giant Malacca Gateway Project that China and Malaysia signed last year. It also includes the establishment of the strategically vital deep water port in the Strait of Malacca in Malaysia.