Mahathir Positions Malaysia as a Check on China’s Ambitions in Southeast Asia

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Aug. 20, 2018 (Pool photo by How Hwee Young of European Pressphoto Agency via AP Images).
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Aug. 20, 2018 (Pool photo by How Hwee Young of European Pressphoto Agency via AP Images).

The shock election of 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamad for a second stint as Malaysia’s prime minister last May generated a sense of unease in the corridors of power in Beijing. In tough rhetoric on the campaign trail, Mahathir had accused his predecessor, Najib Razak, of ceding Malaysia’s sovereignty to China by accepting billions of dollars in Chinese loans to finance large-scale infrastructure projects. Mahathir warned that Malaysia’s “freedom would be affected if we are going to owe such a large sum to any one country,” and he voiced fears that Najib appeared willing to “give up” the nation’s territorial claims in […]

Keep reading for free right now!

Enter your email to get instant access to the rest of this article, get five free articles every 30 days, and to receive our free email newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having your own personal researcher and analyst for news and events around the globe. Become a member now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of 15,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Daily links to must-read news, analysis, and opinion from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • Weekly in-depth reports, including features on important countries and issues.
  • Your choice of weekly region-specific newsletters, delivered to your inbox.
  • Smartphone- and tablet-friendly website.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you — right now for just $1 for the first 30 days.

More World Politics Review