Lu said in the past 11 months of 2019, the bilateral trade volume between China and Malaysia had reached US$111.4bil, hitting a record high.
“For China-Malaysia relations, 2019 had been a year of fruitful achievements.
“In the first three quarters of 2019, 2.7mil tourist visits from China to Malaysia were made, a year-on-year increase of 4%, and is expected to exceed 3 million in the year.
“Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad also attended the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and both countries have reached a broad consensus on jointly building the Belt and Road.
“The resumption of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project and Bandar Malaysia project, with the export of whole durians and raw bird nests from Malaysia to China were also surprises brought by the China-Malaysia cooperation.
“Besides, 2019 marks the 45th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries.
“And the achievement of exchanges and cooperation in various sectors among both nations is remarkable,” he said at the New Year reception at Equatorial Hotel in Bayan Lepas.
Lu said he believed that under the strategic leadership in both nations, the exchanges and cooperation in various sectors between China and Malaysia will be even stronger and better this year.
“China is willing to work with Malaysia to seize opportunities, deepen cooperation, and to give a new meaning to the Belt and Road Initiative between the two countries and promote China-Malaysia comprehensive strategic partnership to continuously achieve new results.
“Since its establishment, the consulate-general of China in Penang is dedicated to promoting friendly exchanges between China and Malaysia and also between the provinces and cities of China and the four states in our consular district.
“We are pleased to see that in the past year, under the common efforts of the consulate-general, the four state governments of the consular district, and various circles of society, the local exchanges and cooperation in various aspects have achieved gratifying achievements,” he said.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present, said that the cooperation between both nations had grown over nearly five decades.
“Malaysia and China have since 1974 established not only diplomatic relations but a close friendship especially in the areas of bilateral trade, cultural exchange, education and tourism.
“The year 2020 marks not only the Year of Culture and Tourism between our two countries but also Visit Malaysia Year.
“As far as Penang is concerned, it is also Experience Penang 2020 and all concerted effort would be directed towards making this year’s theme of ‘The Diversity of Asia’ a great success.
“This is especially in showcasing the warmth of Penangites and our beautiful natural surroundings, to give our tourists a unique and unforgettable experience.
“At the same time, the Penang government has also come up with a blueprint for the development and direction of its tourism industry for the coming 10 years,” he said.
Chow added that for the past years, the number of Chinese tourists who visited Malaysia had been about three million.
“I believe with vigorous ongoing promotions to boost tourism, this figure and especially the number of Chinese tourists to Penang will increase further and this augurs well for greater bilateral ties between Malaysia and China.
“With the arrival of the Year of Culture and Tourism, there will be more exchanges taking place and the friendship between us will only grow stronger,” he said.
The event organised by the consulate-general of China in Penang, saw some 500 guests gathering to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
During the event, guests were also entertained by song items, a wushu performance and Chinese cultural dances while enjoying a scrumptious Chinese-style buffet.
Also present were Perlis State Assembly Speaker Datuk Hamdan Bahari, Kedah exco member Tan Kok Yew, Perak exco member Paul Yong Choo Kiong and Penang MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng.
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