South China Sea: does one-on-one mean a one-sided deal for Malaysia?

Just about fits into the ‘black oil’ category.

Dateline 2020-09-27, SCMP:

When Malaysia agreed last year to one-on-one talks with rival claimant China over the South China Sea, it caught observers by surprise.

While Kuala Lumpur was not the most vocal opponent of Beijing’s claims in the area, it had long been reluctant to engage in such negotiations.

Instead it has sought to chart a course between not antagonising China and quietly pursuing its own plan for oil and gas exploration in the contested waters.It has preferred to leave discussions about jurisdiction over the resource-rich area to regional groupings like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), where various countries can work together to have a bigger say.

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