BEIJING : China’s government expressed hope Tuesday that Malaysia’s dispute with a state-owned Chinese company building two multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline projects can be resolved through “friendly consultation.”
Foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said the project being built by a subsidiary of state energy giant China National Petroleum Corp. was “carried out in accordance with the contract.”
The comments came a day after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad confirmed his government had seized over 1 billion ringgit ($243) from the bank account of China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau as the oil and gas pipeline projects, worth $2.3 billion, had been cancelled.
Mahathir said Malaysia was entitled to reclaim the money as over 80 percent of the cost had been paid out but only 13 percent of work completed.
“For problems arising in cooperation, the two sides should properly resolve them through friendly consultation,” Geng Shuang said.
He stressed the two countries enjoy a “long-term friendly cooperative relationship” and that Beijing is confident of working with Malaysia to further deepen economic and trade ties.
Phone calls to the headquarters of CPP and CNPC on Tuesday weren’t answered. The companies didn’t immediately reply to questions sent by fax to their offices.