WSJ report accusing Beijing over 1MDB bailout groundless: Chinese Embassy in Malaysia

The Wall Street Journal reported that senior Chinese leaders offered to help bail out the troubled state fund in 2016, citing minutes from meetings it reviewed.
The Wall Street Journal reported that senior Chinese leaders offered to help bail out the troubled state fund in 2016, citing minutes from meetings it reviewed.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China has described a report accusing the Chinese government of trying to influence the investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal as being "groundless".

Dismissing the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report, the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia said Beijing adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of another country all along.

"China never attaches political conditions on our cooperation with other countries.

"We promote the Belt and Road initiative under the principles of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, with an aim to pursue shared development and prosperity," it said.

The embassy also said that China and Malaysia treated each other as friendly neighbours and sincere partners all along.

"Based on the principle of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit, the two countries have been jointly promoting the Belt and Road initiative and expanding pragmatic cooperation, which contribute significantly to the economic development of both countries and bring about tangible benefits to our people," it added.

The embassy said that with 2019 marking the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, there would be new opportunities to be tapped in the bilateral sphere.

"The Chinese side is committed to working together with the Pakatan Harapan government under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) towards creating a brighter future for China-Malaysia relations," it said.

WSJ reported that senior Chinese leaders offered to help bail out the troubled state fund in 2016, citing minutes from meetings it reviewed.

Chinese officials allegedly told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try and get the United States and other countries to drop probes of allegations that allies of then prime minister Najib Razak and others plundered the fund, according to the newspaper.

In return, Malaysia offered stakes in railway and pipeline projects as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Malaysia's Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Tuesday (Jan 8) that the government was unaware of the discussions detailed in the WSJ report.

"But I have to refer back to see if there are details or thing explicitly said," he said. "If this is said, this is something we will pursue."