Blog post

Sabah, the PLA Navy and Northern Australia

18 Nov 2015

Proceeding from the new access granted to People's Liberation Army (PLA) Naval vessels to the Malaysian port of Kota Kinabalu, the commentary asks why this should have occurred now given that Chinese ships have for years been anchored in Malaysian waters claiming them as part of Chinese territory and driving away Malaysian fishermen. The commentary then notes that the PLA Navy has long sought access to a north Borneo port to aid it in controlling the South China Sea. The piece concludes by examining recent visits regionally by senior PLA figures to discuss issues of Chinese access to regional ports, and suggesting that the PLA will certainly try to gain access to Darwin port now that a Chinese company has a century-long lease on the port.

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