New areas of cooperation bring added value to Malaysia-China ties: Saifuddin

HUZHOU (Zhejiang, China): Malaysia and China will continue to build strong ties through cooperation in various new areas including the digital economy, cybersecurity, vaccine research, cultural diplomacy and filmmaking.

Concluding his two-day official visit to China which began on Friday (Dec 3), Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the new areas will add value to Malaysia-China bilateral relations.

"I see that while the existing areas are running smoothly and getting better, there are new areas that add value to both parties, and I see this in today's discussion that is going very well," he told Malaysian media here on Saturday.

The inaugural meeting of the Malaysia-China High-Level Committee (HLC) on Cooperation in the post-Covid-19 era, co-chaired by Saifuddin and China’s State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, saw both sides agreeing to cooperate in various fields.

The areas are research and development (R&D) as well as vaccine production, digital telecommunications cooperation and joint film production, traditional medicine, cooperation in basketball, and improving the teaching of the Malay language in China.

“In terms of culture, for example, we connect Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) more closely with 15 universities in China that teach Malay. Today, we bring 200 copies of Malay books to be presented to the university,” he said.

In conjunction with the official visit, Saifuddin also witnessed the signing of three agreements between Malaysian and Chinese companies.

They comprise: a memorandum of understanding between GHHS Healthcare and Sinopharm (Tianjin) Asset Management Co Ltd; a memorandum of agreement between INIX Technologies Holdings Bhd and Professor Chunhua Zhao; and a joint venture agreement between Riongtou Watch (Shenzhen) Co Ltd and INIX Technologies Holdings Bhd.

On Saturday, Saifuddin also honoured 10 officers involved in the repatriation mission of Malaysians from Wuhan after movement restrictions were announced in the province due to the outbreak of Covid-19 in February last year.

The first mission involved seven officers who brought home 87 Malaysians and 20 dependants (foreign nationals) on Feb 2, 2020. The officials were minister counsellor Samsul Kahar Kamarudin; first secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Nur Zaitie Suhana Zakaria; embassy adviser (Immigration) Ibrahim Jack; embassy adviser (Customs) Nik Mazaid Nik Man; first secretary (Education) Jason Choy Min Sheng; administrative assistant (Information) Mohd Syahmi Md Yusoff; and East Asia Division assistant secretary Choo Hwai Jeng.

The second mission to bring home 46 Malaysians and 20 dependants (foreign nationals) on Feb 25 last year involved three officers. They are the embassy adviser (Immigration) Raiz Razally; embassy adviser (Agriculture) Muhammad Daniel Yee Abdullah; and the ministry's Inspectorate Division chief assistant secretary Bong Yik Jui.

At the combined ceremony, Saifuddin said although it was held a bit late, he wanted to personally thank those who served with excellence.

According to him, all officers involved accepted the decision of the Malaysian Ambassador to China, Raja Datuk Nushirwan Zainal Abidin, to carry out the mission with great trust and sacrifice.

“Just imagine, when other people ran out of Wuhan, you ran into Wuhan to help our people get out of there.

"Some people in Wuhan had died (due to Covid-19) at that time and we did not understand what the pandemic was and there was no vaccine yet,” he said.

Saifuddin also presented a certificate of appreciation to Nushirwan, who represented the mission members from the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing. – Bernama

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