Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt once said that when it comes to international relations, it is best to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Malaysia, in its relations with China, has to deal with the thorny issue of conflicting claims over the South China Sea. The Southeast Asian nation needs Chinese trade and investment, but cannot afford to be at the losing end of the stick when it comes to its sovereignty. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak alluded to the dilemma on Nov. ...

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