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Malaysia’s Premier Mahathir Confirms, China’s Belt and Road Is Not Colonialism at All

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EIRNS—Following his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 28, where the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had championed the aspirations of the developing world and smaller non-aligned nations, and had warned of a “new version of colonialism” rising in Asia, the anti-China media around the world had concluded that the Malay premier was referring to China. In an interview with BBC’s “Hard Talk” program today, Dr. Mahathir popped the bubble of the China-bashers, saying he did not accuse the Chinese.

Asked directly if he saw the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a new form of colonialism, Mahathir replied “not at all,” South China Morning Post reported. He continued: “I merely said that there were other forms of colonialism and one of them was neocolonialism, [a term] which was coined by President Sukarno,” he said, referring to Indonesia’s late independence leader. He pointed out that the Chinese investors are

“still coming, they still want to invest in Malaysia. ... They’ve seen me, many of them have seen me recently and they don’t seem to be in any way angry with me because of what I said regarding colonialism.”