Dr Wee: M’sia-China ties remain strong despite political transitions

PETALING JAYA: Despite the transfers of power in Malaysian politics over the past few years, the country’s ties with China remains strong, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

He said the friendship between the two countries has stayed firm, withstanding any political change.

Malaysia and the Middle Kingdom, whose relationship began in 1974, mark the 49th anniversary of their diplomatic ties today.

“Our friendship has remained strong and unshakeable.”

“The two countries have overcome many challenges together. We have been true friends, sharing many common interests and supporting each other for almost half a century,” he said.

This friendship, he said, had led to increasing collaborations in all sectors, from trade, education, tourism and culture, to science and technology.

He pointed out that this was reflected in the record-high bilateral trade of US$203.6bil (RM910.8bil) last year.

“China has been Malaysia’s biggest trade partner for 14 consecutive years,” he said.

Both countries, he added, should reaffirm their commitment to further cooperation as they look towards the 50th anniversary next year.

Apart from trade and investment, Dr Wee said Malaysia and China could enhance cooperation in people-to-people activities through student exchange, cultural festivals and art exhibitions.

“Malaysia and China can also work together to address regional issues in South-East Asia, such as climate change, security, and economic development,” he added.

On top of these, he said both governments could also deepen their development strategy cooperation by expanding and strengthening key projects, setting up a development zone for production capacity and a pioneer zone for innovation.

He expressed hope that both nations would enhance their cooperation in industrialisation and digitisation initiatives.

“The growing Chinese market will provide excellent development prospects for South-East Asian nations, including Malaysia.

“I hope this can be fully reflected in the high-quality joint development of the Belt and Road Initiative and achieved through the cooperation of all parties as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral ties next year.”

On the 19 memoranda of understanding (MOU) totalling RM170bil signed during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to China in March, Dr Wee said there should be clear responsibilities and job scope assigned to the relevant departments or agencies to ensure a successful implementation of the deals.He said incentives, such as tax breaks and other benefits, could be provided to the companies involved.

“It is also equally important for the government to provide adequate resources, including funding, manpower and technical expertise.”

The government, he said, should also monitor the progress and make the necessary adjustments accordingly.

Dr Wee, who was invited to join Anwar’s delegation to China, held several reunions and meetings with the leaders there.

Following a courtesy call on the Communist Party of China’s International Liaison Department Minister Liu Jianchao, Dr Wee said MCA would continue to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and China and play an active role in the basic infrastructure development that is part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Since the establishment of the unity government, he said the top leaders of Malaysia and China had held frequent exchanges, including official visits.

“I hope these activities will continue to grow and deepen the post-pandemic cooperation between Malaysia and China in economy, trade, education, culture and other aspects, bringing greater positive values to the interests of the people in both countries,” he added.

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