Chinese President Xin Jinping, accompanied by his wife Madam Peng Liyuan, made his first official visit to Malaysia from October 3 to 5, 2013, his first since taking office in March. His visit marked a new milestone in the development of bilateral relationship between Malaysia and China and the Malaysia-China Friendship Association (PPMC) is proud to have played an active role in welcoming President Xi and his high-power delegation.
On the first day of his visit, President Xi held talks with Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya. The two leaders spoke highly of the progress and achievements made in Malaysia-China cooperation. They also exchanged views to further promote bilateral relationship under the new circumstances and agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
President Xi recalled that Malaysia was the first among Asean nations to establish diplomatic relations with China. He said China would not forget the farsightedness and historical contributions made by the older generations of the leaders of both countries in putting China-Malaysia relationship on the right track. In recent years, trade and economic co-operation has surged ahead and the traditional friendship has grown even closer and stronger.
President Xi said China attached great importance to its ties with Malaysia and China-Malaysia relationship was at the forefront among Asean countries. He said at this crucial juncture, both nations should further enhance the level of strategic cooperation to ensure that China and Malaysia continue to play an exemplary and leading role in the region.
Five major steps to boost co-operation
President Xi proposed five major steps to deepen and broaden bilateral co-operation. They are:
First, leaders of the two countries should maintain the long tradition of frequent exchange of views and strengthen strategic communications on major issues, bearing in mind the big picture of China-Malaysia friendship. China and Malaysia should enhance party-to-party exchanges and share experiences on state governance.
Second, the two sides should expand economic and trade cooperation in accordance with their respective development strategies in order to achieve the targeted trade volume of US$160 billion in 2017; to develop the Qinzhou Industrial Park in China and the Kuantan Industrial Park in Malaysia into flagship projects of investment cooperation between the two countries, and to promote cluster-type development of industries of the two countries. China encourages Chinese businesses to join in the development of northern Malaysia and the construction of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed railway so as to promote connectivity in the region, to strengthen financial cooperation and to expand the use of local currency in trade and investment.
Third, the two sides should strengthen co-operation on information and communications, remote sensing satellite and biological technology, actively advance the construction of science-tech labs.
Fourth, the two sides should step up defence and security consultation mechanism, to strengthen military-to-military exchanges and cooperation, to deepen law enforcement cooperation and to join efforts to combat terrorism and transnational crime.
Fifth, the two sides should expand local cooperation and non-governmental exchanges. The year 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the Year of China-Malaysia Friendly Exchanges. Both sides should plan for series of celebration activities, including the exchanges of 100-member youth delegations.
President Xi pointed out that China and Asean countries are all developing nations. As such, all the countries should firmly embrace the theme of development, deepen cooperation and promote regional economic integration to create a sound regional environment for development.
Malaysia-China friendship on solid foundation
Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib stressed that Malaysia-China friendship was built upon solid foundation and bilateral relations had grown tremendously since the establishment of diplomatic relationship in 1974. The Prime Minister said China was a reliable friend of Malaysia and he looked forward to the broader prospects of co-operation with the elevation of bilateral ties to comprehensive strategic partnership.
He fully agreed with President Xi’s proposals and believed that these proposals were of great significance in achieving greater progress in bilateral relations. Malaysia hopes to maintain communication with China at all levels, to expand bilateral trade, to promote mutual investments, and to build up the Qinzhou Industrial Park in China and the Kuantan Industrial Park in Malaysia.
Dato Seri Najib said Chinese businesses were welcomed to participate in Malaysia’s infrastructure construction and both sides were encouraged to set up financial institutions in each other’s country. Malaysia is ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in the fields of military-to-military exchanges, science and technology, law enforcement, education, tourism, people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
The Malaysian side fully supports China’s proposal to prepare for the establishment of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and is ready to consider participating. He noted that among Asean’s dialogue partners, China-Asean relationship was the most active. Malaysia is ready to actively push for the development of Asean-China relations in order to beef up regional cooperation and to promote peace, stability and prosperity of the region.
China and Malaysia co-operation conducive to regional stability and development
The two leaders also jointly met with the Press. President Xi stressed that China and Malaysia shared extensive common interests. China-Malaysia co-operation not only benefitted both peoples, but was also conducive to regional stability and development, he said. He was glad to see Malaysia playing a greater role in the region. China is ready to join hands with Malaysia for development and win-win cooperation to create a better future.
Dato Seri Najib said Malaysia believed that China’s economy would continue to maintain a strong growth momentum to inject fresh impetus into global economic growth. The upgrading of Malaysia-China relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership will lay a more solid foundation for bilateral co-operation, he added.
Both President Xi and Dato Seri Najib also attended the Malaysia-China Investment Summit held in conjunction with the welcome luncheon and they witnessed the signing of several contracts and documents pertaining to co-operative projects.
By Chen Song