Easing visas on both sides to strengthen bilateral ties

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and China have signalled their move to enhance bilateral ties further by extending the visa exemption programme for visitors from both countries.

China has agreed to extend its visa exemption facility for Malaysian citizens until the end of 2025, while Malaysia will extend a similar privilege to Chinese visitors until the end of 2026.

“Both leaders (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and China’s Premier Li Qiang) welcome the keen interest to continue consultations and discussions on mutual visa exemption to facilitate the entry of the citizens of Malaysia and China,” said a joint statement at the conclusion of Li’s three-day visit to Malaysia.

During his visit, Li held a series of programmes, including an audience with His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia, and a closed-door meeting with Anwar.

He also attended the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Gombak Integrated Terminal Station groundbreaking ceremony.

Describing their relations as good neighbours for hundreds of years, both nations are set to deepen their ties through the building of a Malaysia-China community with a shared future.

The statement said both leaders have pledged to safeguard fairness and justice, and embark on cooperation for mutual benefits.

The leaders noted that since the establishment of diplomatic relations on May 31, 1974, bilateral relations have continuously improved.

“Such friendship has witnessed profound changes over half a century and shown renewed vigour and vitality,” said the statement.

“The strategic significance of bilateral relations has been further highlighted, which is crucial to not only their peoples but also the future of this region, enhancing the unity and cooperation of the Global South.

“The two leaders will commit to promoting an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation.”

The statement further said Malaysia commended President Xi Jinping, who had put forward the concept of building a Community of Shared Future for Mankind, the Belt and Road initiative, as well as the Principles of Amity, Sincerity, Mutual Benefit and Inclusiveness in Neighbourhood Diplomacy, among others.China also supports the fundamental principles of Malaysia Madani, advocating and promoting innovation, care and compassion, inclusiveness, and mutual respect, it added.

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