19/06/2024 09:25 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) -- Chinese Premier Li Qiang today reiterated China's steadfast regard for Malaysia as a close neighbour and vital partner, emphasising its commitment to deepening cooperation and advancing mutual development.

Li said the meeting between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Chinese President Xi Jinping last year achieved significant consensus on building a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, outlining a new blueprint for bilateral relations.

“Standing at a new historical starting point, China-Malaysia friendship is like this continuous railway track, spanning mountains and seas, with a promising future.

“Let us seize historical opportunities, implement existing projects well, continuously expand new areas of cooperation, further strengthen policy communication, facilities connectivity, trade flow, financial integration and people-to-people ties between our two countries, and better benefit the peoples of both countries,” he said.

Li said this at the groundbreaking ceremony of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Gombak Integrated Terminal station here today, also attended by Anwar.

Speaking on the 665km-long ECRL, costing RM50.2 billion, Li expressed China's readiness to collaborate closely with Malaysia to ensure the project becomes a path to prosperity and happiness that truly benefits Malaysians.

Highlighting that transportation is the lifeline of the economy, Li said that the ECRL project serves not only as a transportation artery but also plays a pivotal role in driving development, creating jobs and improving livelihoods.

“China is willing to assist Malaysia in focusing on subsequent operations, developing and planning along the railway line, and driving vibrant development in sectors such as commerce, logistics and tourism, achieving greater economic and social benefits.

“Simultaneously, the ECRL project will also have long-term and extensive spillover effects.

“Malaysia, located at the centre of Southeast Asia with unique regional advantages, has the potential to connect the ECRL with the Laos-China Railway and the Thailand-China Railway, thereby turning the Pan-Asia Railway Network from concept into reality and better advancing the construction of new international land and sea trade routes, enhancing regional connectivity, and deepening ASEAN community building,” he said.

Aimed at improving connectivity and stimulating economic development, the ECRL, traversing Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Selangor, is set to be an economic game changer especially in boosting Malaysia’s transportation network. 

It is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. 

The massive infrastructure project, which connects the east and west coasts of the country with 20 stations, is also a testament to the strong bilateral relationship between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

Li commenced his official visit to Malaysia yesterday, which concludes tomorrow.

This marks his inaugural visit to the country since assuming office 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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