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Hand in Hand to Embark on a New Journey
2018/05/31

    This year marks the 44th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. 44 years ago, Malaysia was the first ASEAN country to establish diplomatic relations with China, starting a new phase of cooperation between the two great countries. In the past 44 years, like a blooming Bunga Raya, the national flower of Malaysia, China-Malaysia Relations have continued to grow with greater vitality and kept pace with the times.

    Over the past 44 years, China and Malaysia have become strategic partners with high-level mutual trust. Leaders of the two countries always maintained the general direction of China-Malaysia friendship while assessing the situation and complying with the trend. Despite of the international or domestic vicissitudes, China-Malaysia friendship has always been built on equality and mutual trust between the two governments and rooted deeply in the friendship between the people of both countries. The two sides collaborate closely in bilateral as well as regional and international affairs, upholding the spirit of mutual respect, and supporting each other. The political trust between the two countries has been deepened steadily.

    Over the past 44 years, China and Malaysia have become partners with integrated interests. During the first 20 years of China's reform and opening up, a large number of Malaysian entrepreneurs came to China to invest and develop business, making valuable contributions to the process of liberalization as well as national economic development. Malaysia has accumulatively invested $7.58 billion in China, which surpass China's investment in Malaysia. As its counterpart, China kept its promise of keeping the RMB from depreciating during the Asian Financial Crisis, which helped Malaysia fight against the crisis. Despite the sluggish world economy, China continues to strengthen economic cooperation with Malaysia, injecting impetus for Malaysia's economic growth. For 9 consecutive years, China has remained Malaysia's largest trading partner. It is the largest investor in Malaysia's manufacturing industry for 2 consecutive years as well as main construction contracting partner of Malaysia for many years. Cooperation between the two countries has been extended to all aspects. This was advanced in a way that's mutually beneficial, aimed at creating a win-win situation and achieving sustainable results.

 

    China always regards Malaysia as a priority partner in investment and cooperation. We encourage creditworthy and powerful Chinese enterprises to invest in Malaysia. Prospective investors are required to abide by the relevant laws and regulations of both countries, as well as follow international trade norms and respect the contract. They must strictly adhere to the fundamental principle of equality, mutual benefit and win-win situation. We are not to pursue self-interest, rather make contributions to the development of Malaysia's economy and help improve people's livelihoods through cooperation that's mutually-beneficial. Chinese enterprises have brought world-class technology and advanced management experience to Malaysia, besides funds and employment opportunities. We have invested in more than 300 projects, creating more than 62000 jobs. In the first week after the founding of the new government, three more Chinese enterprises invested 1.2 billion in Malaysia. The second phase of Daiyin Textile Malaysia Company in Johor held its opening ceremony last Sunday. With its full-scale operation, the total production scale will reach 450000 spindles, the annual income from the sales is going to be US$400 million, and more than 2000 jobs will be created. These show Chinese enterprises' appreciation of a good business environment and the confidence they have in the new Malaysian government.

    Over the past 44 years, China and Malaysia supported each other in times of adversity, like brother and kin. Polls show that more than 70 percent Malaysian people have a favorable view of China -- the highest among ASEAN countries. We will always remember that Malaysian people stood in queues to donate money and relief supplies to China when the deadly earthquake struck Wenchuan, Sichuan Province in 2008. Similarly Chinese people went out of their way to help the people affected by the severe floods wreaking havoc on the east coast of Malaysia. The ties between the people of the two countries were strengthened over the years, by holding hands and overcoming difficulties together. Today more than 2 million Chinese tourists visit Malaysia every year and China has been Malaysia's largest source of foreign tourists in 6 consecutive years. The number of students exchanged between the two countries has risen dramatically. Xiamen University Malaysia Campus has been in operation since 2016. All these are encouraging signs that cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries are in full swing.

    After 44 years of concerted efforts, China-Malaysia relations are standing on a historic starting point with well-grounded cooperation. The new government elected by Malaysian people during the 14th national election, with Mahathir as the country's Prime Minister, heralds a new era of national development in Malaysia. Similarly, the success of the Communist Party of China in hosting the 19th CPC National Congress marked the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation entering a new era. This also results in opening a new chapter in China-Malaysia relations. While traditionally the two countries have been friends, the rich potential of pragmatic cooperation is yet to be fully utilized. To make this new energy and rich potential work towards the well-being of the people in both countries is the current priority for both governments. Therefore we should keep pace with the times, blaze new trails, explore new ideas, motivate people and create new opportunities. In this historic moment of connecting the past with the future, the Chinese Government is willing to work hand in hand with the new Malaysian government, to inherit and develop friendship of generations, expand the mutually-benefitting cooperation and support each other to develop better, with the aim that the people of both China and Malaysia can share and gain from the fruits of development. I believe with the joint efforts of both sides, China-Malaysia relations will develop in a higher, faster and stronger manner, embarking on a new journey and achieving greater glory.

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