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Saturday June 6, 2009

KL and Beijing pledge to negotiate on territorial disputes

BEIJING: Malaysia and China have reached a consensus on the issue of overlapping claims on territories, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday.

The Prime Minister said both countries would not let these issues affect the strong ties between the two countries.

The leaders of the two countries had reached an understanding and agreed to continue negotiations on such issues so that it would not hamper the cordial Sino-Malaysian ties.

“I have also extended my invitations to the Chinese President and the Chinese Premier to visit Malaysia in the near future,” he said.

Speaking to the Malaysian press after a gala dinner here to commemorate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries on Thursday, Najib described his four-day official visit as a sentimental journey but a “very successful” one.

“This visit to China is sentimental and nostalgic for me and my family.”

The Chinese interpreter for Tun Abdul Razak Hussein when he made the historic visit to China in 1974 was at the dinner yesterday, wearing a batik shirt given to him by Najib’s father.

The Prime Minister was pleased as he regarded this a meaningful gesture.

“What is important for this trip is not just the historical perspective but the future development of the two countries.”

On his meetings with Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao, Najib said they had engaged in substantive discussions on various issues including bilateral trade.

The signings of the MoUs and agreements which he and the Chinese leaders had witnessed were examples of the close ties enjoyed between the two countries.

He expressed optimism that the Sino-Malaysia relations would be further strengthened after his visit.

Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, in his speech at the reception, said the growth of China-Malaysia relations in the past 35 years had brought about tangible benefits for the peoples of the two nations and had helped to promote regional peace.

“The current sound bilateral relations are based on traditional friendship, the broad common interests and the great importance both nations had placed in promoting the friendly ties,” he said.

On Malaysian politics, Najib dismissed talks that the Parliament would be dissolved upon his return from China.

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