Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia could "live with" China's growing influence in the region and its disputed claims on the South China Sea as long as it does not seek to limit the passage of ships mainly through the Malacca Straits.
This would be a "serious problem" if the Chinese were to start inspecting any ship, the prime minister warned.
"What matters is not the claims (by China), but if the ships can pass through the South China Sea.
"Right now they do not stop ships […] Currently ships can pass through the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea.
"The sea is the main communication line, so China wants to make sure the sea is free for its trade, and I do not think they want to prevent other ships from crossing, and I think Malaysia can live with it," he said in an interview with Review from Mekong Last month.
"They (China) have a big fifth column in Malaysia – 25 percent of the Malaysian population are Chinese, but they never conquered us when they could do so," he said.
"On the other hand, the Portuguese came in 1509 and two years later they captured us, so who are we afraid of?"
"We do not want to be colonized again"
However, the Prime Minister has confirmed that the acquisition of land indiscriminately by China should not be promoted.
"The Chinese have so much money that they can actually buy the whole of Malaysia, if they did it, we will be in the province of China.
"We do not want this to happen."
Mahathir said that Malaysia had a right to preserve its territorial integrity and independence.
He added: "We fought against settlement, we became independent and we do not want to be another colony if a virtual colony or real."
The issue of China's growing influence in Asia has been a talking point in many countries, including Malaysia.
Since the assumption of federal power in May, the new Pakanan Harapan government under Mahathir had suspended some high profile projects related to China due to financial concerns.
These included the suspension of the Eastern Coastline (ECRL) and the Strategic Energy Resources (SSER) pipeline projects which were awarded to companies owned by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and the China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau, respectively.
On August 27 he swore from Atheer Prevent Foreigners from the purchase of apartments in the forest-dwelling project owned by China in Johor.
The company, founded by the landscaping company of the country of China, in a joint venture with businesses owned by Sultan Jahr, the city forest, which was conceived as a smart and green city, was marketed mainly to foreigners, mainly to buyers from China.
Mahathir repeatedly criticized his predecessor Abdul Razaq for allowing the project to continue, arguing that it would severely alter the demographics of the JWH.
However, Putrajaya has since clarified that the government no strength To block foreigners from acquiring the remaining assets in the forest town as man-made islands are located in an international zone.