KUALA LUMPUR: In a bid to prevent a diplomatic row from developing, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang says he never had any intention to interfere with the country's domestic affairs.
Dr Huang clarified that he had not received any "summons" from Wisma Putra to explain his statement made on Sept 25 in Petaling Street – contrary to what had been reported in the media.
"My statements were blown out of proportion. This controversy is stirring up a diplomatic row and friction between Malaysian ministers.
"I do not hope to see this happening as China and Malaysia are friends and partners," said Dr Huang at the Chinese Embassy here.
He said his visit to and comments made at Petaling Street had been taken out of context.
"The statement I made was sincere. I was hoping to tell the whole world – including Chinese tourists who are coming here in the tens of thousands – that Malaysia is safe despite the threat of a riot," said Dr Huang.
He said after meeting with several ministers, all reached the consensus that the close bilateral ties between Malaysia and China should not be affected by this "isolated" incident.
"I studied philosophy and international law. I know that the same language can be interpreted differently in different communities, at different times and in different cultures," he said.
Dr Huang said he had also received many enquiries on the political stability of Malaysia.
He was also asked if an alert should be issued to Chinese visitors, similar to the United States' and Australia's, which warned of possible terror threat in Jalan Alor, which has since been debunked by the police.
"I had to check for myself whether we should issue the alert too. I chose to go to Petaling Street because it was a cultural landmark and a favourite tourist spot for Chinese nationals," he said.
According to Dr Huang, a reporter had asked him a hypothetical question on the possibility of race riots in Malaysia after his walkabout in Petaling Street.
"I told him I could only give a general and standard diplomatic reply without mentioning Malaysia.
"I said the Chinese government had always pursued peaceful co-existence in international relationship and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.
"But if such a situation occurs, and it affects Chinese interests, Chinese people and Chinese enterprises, undermine good diplomatic ties, the Chinese government would not sit idle.
"For the past 66 years, Chinese diplomats have been repeating this statement. It is our universal value," said Dr Huang.
"I also said we oppose extremism, racism and terrorism in any form. We also oppose any disruption to public order. This is also a general statement along diplomatic lines," he said.
Huang said in his sincerity to help allay fears among Chinese outside Malaysia, he had said stated Malaysia was a harmonious and stable country.
"This statement is meant for our Chinese nationals who had the impression that Malaysia is anti-Chinese. I also said I am happy to see Petaling Street peaceful, buzzling with tourists and traders carrying out their normal business.
"I praised the economic contribution from ethnic Chinese here and to China, and I hope Malaysia will continue to stay a popular tourist area."
Dr Huang added his praise for and judgement on Malaysia "is much more powerful and forceful" than positive statement by any Malaysian.
"After my explanation today, I believe people with logical thinking will not doubt my sincerity and goodwill anymore," said Dr Huang.