Dr Mahathir tells world leaders not to aggravate rich China for economy's sake

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Countries around the world would do well not to rub China the wrong way if they valued trade, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said at an international conference in Japan last night.

The two-time prime minister cautioned against blindly supporting a new economic grouping led by the US, claiming the 13-nation Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) sought to isolate China.

'China is a big trading partner for Malaysia, we don’t want to see any tension, any conflict with China and we hope that the US will realise that China is there, it’s not going to disappear, and we have to live with China, which is now richer than most countries in the world,' the 96-year-old was quoted by news agency Associated Press as telling world leaders attending 'The Future of Asia' international conference in Tokyo organised by Nikkei.

The 13 countries that have signed the IPEF so far are: Malaysia, Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam, which reportedly make up 40 per cent of the world's GDP.

Dr Mahathir warned that these countries are unlikely to see regional by excluding China.

'The US will always want to use groupings like this in order to isolate China.

'Many countries recognise that this is not an economic grouping but it is truly a political grouping,' the Opposition lawmaker was quoted saying.

US President Joe Biden launched IPEF during a visit to Japan earlier this week.

Biden said IPEF would help improve the United State's trade ties with Asian countries, including their supply chains, digital trade, clean energy and anti-corruption issues.

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