19/06/2024 08:04 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has emphasised that Malaysia views its relations with China not merely in bilateral terms, but through a comprehensive strategic lens.

He believed that it is in Malaysia’s strategic interests to forge amity and cooperation with China, not against it.

“We make every effort to diplomatically engage China and integrate it into regional affairs, not because it is always straightforward, but because it is crucial for our shared future,” he said during the dinner in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between Malaysia and China today. 

He said the firm and robust trade relationship, as underscored by China being Malaysia's largest trading partner for the past 15 years, demonstrates the profound depth and significance of the economic ties. 

“As the Belt and Road Initiative catalyses the enhancement of international connectivity and cooperation, the ‘Two Countries, Twin Parks’ provides a tremendous economic boost particularly in Malaysia's East Coast region,” he said.

Additionally, he said, the ongoing East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the Automotive High-Tech Valley projects are vibrant drivers of growth and job creation.

“Bolstering ties with China isn't about short-term gains, it's about securing the vital long-term interests of Malaysia.

“The guiding star of my actions is to nurture a Malaysia that is respected globally, where the achievements of our children are not transient but will endure for generations to come,” he said.

The Prime Minister said the MADANI government will work closely with Malaysia's friends and partners worldwide to pursue this dream and reiterated on why the relationship with China and President Xi Jinping is remarkable and outstanding.

“There comes a government and a leader who talks not only in terms of trade and investments but also a shared future. And beyond that, one of the few outstanding statesmen in the world that talks about civilisation, understanding and civilisational dialogue.

Hence, he calls on all Malaysians as well as the counterparts in China to summon the courage and wisdom that have fortified the ties from the very beginning and forge a new era of ties between both nations.

Anwar also said it would be stretching the facts to say that China’s economy constituted even one per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) when Malaysia-China relations were initially forged in 1974.

“Today, China accounts for 18 per cent of global economic output,” he said. 

In the first quarter of 2024, Malaysia's trade with China rose to RM112.28 billion from the preceding year’s RM108.66 billion. 

China Premier Li Qiang arrived in Malaysia yesterday to begin his official visit, which lasts until tomorrow. This is his inaugural visit to the country since assuming his position in March 2023.

His visit also coincides with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations following the signing of the Joint Communiqué between second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and then-Chinese Premier Chou En Lai on May 31, 1974.




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