GUEST LECTURE

ARE MALAYSIANS STILL HAVING POSITIVE VIEWS OF CHINA?

A REPORT ON A 2016 SURVEY AND BEYOND

by DR. CHOW BING NGEOW

Date & Time

March 2nd, 2021. Time: 10:00 AM

Location

This is a closed lecture. In case you are interested in joining please contact organizer Kristina Kironská (kristina.kironska @upol.cz)

Abstract

Malaysia and China established their diplomatic ties in 1974. Since then, and especially since 1990s, Malaysia-China relations developed rapidly in many fronts, including economics, politics and culture. Today China stands as Malaysia´s largest trade partner. China´s investment in Malaysia also increased significantly in the past two years, in light of the “Belt and Road” initiative promoted by the Chinese government. However, since 2010, there has also been greater tension in the South China Sea, in which both China and Malaysia are claimant states. It was under this context that Pew Research Center, a well-known international polling agencies, released its poll reports (2013–2015), which showed that despite South China Sea tensions, Malaysian public opinion towards China had been strongly positive and Malaysia was one of the most “pro-China” countries in the region. However, Pew´s reports did not further analyze the perceptions of various strata and sectors in Malaysian society towards China. Hence, as China has become one of the www.sinofon.cz SinophoneBorderlands sinophoneborderlands most imporant countries to Malaysia, it is pertinent to have a more comprehensive assessment of Malaysian views of China. This talk is based on a 2016 commissioned survey conducted by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion research, that for the first time provided a detailed analysis of Malaysian attitudes towards China on various issues. It will also discuss what factors could have changed the dynamics since then and whether views of China have changed since 2016.