September 03, 2015

Malaysia and U.S. in Talks to Ramp Up China Spying

Featuring Patrick M. Cronin

Source: Bloomberg

Journalist Josh Rogin

The U.S. and Malaysia have been secretly discussing expanded use of Malaysian territory for hosting U.S. spy planes to patrol the South China Sea, in response to increased Chinese activity in the disputed territory.

Following a series of incursions into Malaysian waters by Chinese vessels in recent months, talks between the U.S. government and the office of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak have intensified, two senior U.S. defense officials said. The U.S. side has been pressing Najib's government to allow the U.S. Navy to fly both P-8 Poseidon and P-3 Orion maritime surveillance planes from Malaysian airstrips over South China Sea areas where the Chinese government has been rapidly building artificial islands.

There has been no final agreement between the two governments, but the talks themselves represent a shift of Malaysia’s long effort to straddle the fence between the U.S. and China. 

Read the full article at Bloomberg.


  • Patrick M. Cronin

    Former Senior Advisor and Senior Director, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Patrick M. Cronin is a former Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). Previously, he was the ...