Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series about China’s One Belt, One Road infrastructure initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
For more than two decades, Malaysia’s political leaders have viewed China as an essential engine of economic growth. Close cooperation under current Prime Minister Najib Razak has included a number of projects falling under the One Belt, One Road initiative. In an email interview, David Han, research analyst with the Malaysia Program at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, explains how Malaysia is pursuing economic ties while trying to maintain an independent foreign policy.
WPR: How have relations between China and Malaysia evolved in recent years, and what have been the main areas of cooperation?