Muhyiddin: US, China owe global responsibility to end trade dispute

Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says Malaysia views the trade war between the US and China with grave concern as it exposes a country’s economy to the vulnerabilities of trade tensions. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin says Malaysia views the trade war between the US and China with grave concern as it exposes a country’s economy to the vulnerabilities of trade tensions. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

WASHINGTON, Sept 17 ― Malaysia believes that the United States and China owe a global responsibility to find an amicable solution to their trade war.

Speaking at a forum in Washington DC, Malaysian Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin noted that all economies were part and parcel of the global economic ecosystem.

Bearing that in mind, he said, it was only prudent that the US and China started considering not only their own interests, but also the interests of all other nations in finding ways to end the trade war.

“Only by being prudent and considerate of the interests of all nations will global prosperity prevail and be shared by all,” he said.

Muhyiddin, who is on a working visit to the US, was addressing the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum, themed on US-Malaysia economic, political and strategic relations, at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in the US capital yesterday.

Muhyiddin said that as the world’s two biggest economies prospered partly because of their trade with developing economies, any reversal in the total trade of the developing economies as a result of the current trade war would also have an adverse impact on the economy of both countries.

The former international trade and industry minister said Malaysia viewed the trade war between the US and China with grave concern as it  exposed a country’s economy to the vulnerabilities of trade tensions.

The situation, he said, also created uncertainty that had caused a shift in the global supply chain and an increase in protectionism.

 “The uncertainty will have a far-reaching impact on world trade for years to come, and of course threatens global prosperity,” he warned, adding that developing economies that mainly relied on their trade with both countries to spur domestic growth would be badly affected by the ensuing conflict.

Muhyiddin arrived here on Sunday for the first leg of a working visit aimed at strengthening Kuala Lumpur-Washington linkages in the field of security. The trip will also see him visiting New York.

The minister also spoke about the need to safeguard peace and stability in Southeast Asia, an important precondition for growing regional and global prosperity.

In this context, Muhyiddin said he would like to envisage Malaysia as a linchpin nation with a primary role to bridge the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.

The other roles, he noted, should also be about building partnerships with countries in the two regions to spur domestic, regional and global economic growth, and binding those nations through institutions that promote shared security, shared prosperity and shared identity.

“These three inextricably related linchpin roles of bridging, building and binding the two oceanic regions require Malaysia to initiate and strengthen genuine cooperation with multiple countries, including the US,” he said.

Muhyiddin also underlined Malaysia’s belief that if all nations worked towards maintaining regional and global peace and security by respecting each other’s sovereignty and freedom, all nations would reap the fruits of global prosperity.

He drove home the point that for global peace and security to sustain, the importance of preserving each other’s security must be shared by all nations.

“We must reach an agreement that your security is also my security. Only when all countries are committed to maintaining shared security will global peace and prosperity prevail,” Muhyiddin said.

He cautioned that when countries opted to overzealously pursue their own interests and got trapped in a zero-sum game that threatened each other’s security, the whole world would collapse.

“And all of us will suffer from global uncertainty, poverty and deprivation of freedom. This is certainly not our aim,” he concluded. ― Bernama

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