What Happened: Malaysia's government seized more than $243 million in early July from a bank account belonging to Chinese state-owned enterprise China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering and transferred it to a Malaysian state-owned energy company, The Straits Times reported July 13.
Why It Matters: The asset seizure comes amid a payment dispute between the two countries after Malaysia canceled or suspended numerous Chinese infrastructure projects.
Background: On July 25, Malaysia is set to hold a formal ceremony to relaunch the East Coast Rail Link project, which is one of the infrastructure projects that Kuala Lumpur has allowed to proceed under renegotiated terms.
- For Malaysia's Ruling Coalition, the Honeymoon's Over (June 19, 2019)
- Asian Free Trade Proposal Is Broad in Scope, Narrow in Focus (March 25, 2019)
- China's Economic Pain Will Power Southeast Asia's Gains (Feb. 25, 2019)