SERI KEMBANGAN: Malaysia and China “reconnects” again as the two nations celebrate 48th years of diplomatic relations.
A grand banquet was held to mark the meaningful event here on Tuesday (July 12) night.
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Themed “Forging Ahead with Stronger Malaysia-China Friendship into the future”, it provided an opportunity for the people, as well as officials from both nations to interact with each other again.
In the absence of face-to-face communications due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia-China bilateral relations came to a hiatus in the past two years.
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And it is time to pick up again and continue to push the friendship to new heights, said the Malaysia-China Business Council (MCBC), which organised the event, attended by Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing and MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
Dr Wee hopes for the Malaysia-China relations to be enhanced in the future.
"Both nations, as well as their people, will benefit through the close friendship," he added.
Citing the transport industry as example, Dr Wee, who is also the Transport Minister, said Malaysia could learn from China and eventually groom our own talents.
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In his speech, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob talked about his earlier meeting with Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi, who was in Malaysia, for a two-day official visit beginning Monday.
To Wang, Ismail Sabri emphasised that Malaysia would continue to undertake its peaceful consultative diplomacy on a bilateral basis.
“At the same time, Malaysia will continue to enhance its bilateral collaboration with China, in search of investment opportunities while promoting the people-to-people relations,” he added.
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Ismail did not attend the event due to an unavoided commitment. His speech was read out by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said he has also conveyed to Wang Yi his interest to make his inaugural official visit to China, and added that the Chinese government is now considering his suggestion.
Ismail reiterated that China has been Malaysia’s biggest trading partner since 2009 and this was a result of the hard work of both countries.
During the pandemic when the global economy came to a halt, Malaysia and China had expected to see a slowdown in bilateral trade, but this did not happen.
Instead, the figure has increased at an average rate of 16% in the past two years, bringing the current bilateral trade volume to RM421bil.
Ismail Sabri said Malaysia has benefited from maintaining a good economic relationship with China.
Hence, Malaysia-China economic ties offer bigger opportunities for Keluarga Malaysia in terms of skills, experience and financial benefits.
MCBC chairman Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the decades-long Malaysia-China friendship has led to a significant breakthrough, be it in politics, economic, cultural, education or other fields, between the two nations.
“It has been fruitful and the people are closely connected, sharing the same passion and aspiration.
“Both countries cherish the deepening of bilateral relations,” he added.
Tiong, who is also the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, has urged for the implementation of strategic projects, which would serve as catalysts to revitalise the economy in the post-pandemic era.