KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 – The close cooperation between China and Malaysia in recent years has yielded fruitful results, and the upcoming visit by China’s President Xi Jinping to Malaysia will lift the bilateral ties to a higher level, said Chai Xi, China’s ambassador to Malaysia.
“Sino-Malaysian relations have embarked on a track of comprehensive, steady and fast development in recent years,” Chai told Xinhua in a recent interview.
The good relations are reflected in the thriving bilateral trade and investment. China has become the biggest trading partner of Malaysia in the world, while Malaysia is China’s biggest trading partner among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In the first seven months of this year, total bilateral trade recorded a 14.9 percent increase to reach 59.72 billion US dollars.
“The joint industrial parks in Qinzhou, China and Kuantan, Malaysia further boost the cooperation in economy and trade,” Chai said.
China and Malaysia have also maintained close cooperation when it comes to cultural exchange. The two countries have inked an agreement to recognize each other’s university diplomas, and China’s renowned Xiamen University is opening up its first overseas campus in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, youth delegations from both countries have made successful visits to each other, and Malaysia is expected to host a pair of giant pandas from China soon.
“On the other hand, two countries have achieved positive progress in new areas for cooperation like law enforcement and energy, and kept good coordination and communication on regional issues to address the common global and regional challenges.
“Sino-Malaysian relations are taking the lead compared with China’s relations with other ASEAN countries,” Chai said.
Chinese President Xi is scheduled to pay a state visit to Malaysia between Oct 3 and Oct 5, which will be his first trip to Southeast Asia since assuming office in March.
“President Xi Jinping’s visit comes against the backdrop of profound and complicated changes in international and regional situations, as well as deep adjustment in the world economy; it is also an important diplomatic move by China to promote friendship with neighbouring countries and regional cooperation in Asia-Pacific,” Chai said.
During the visit, Xi is expected to hold talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Chai said both China and Malaysia are in a crucial stage of development with highly compatible development strategies and solid foundations for cooperation.
“President Xi Jinping will sum up the successful experience in bilateral relations with Malaysian leaders, point out the direction and key points for future development, lay out the blueprint for bilateral cooperation in five to 10 years, and bring the bilateral ties to a new height,” Chai said.
Malaysia was the first ASEAN member to establish diplomatic ties with China.
Chai said: “Both China and Malaysia are dedicated to regional integration as well as peace, stability and development in the region.”
He believes that Malaysia can play a leading role in promoting and facilitating overall relations between China and ASEAN.