China, Malaysia eye booming cooperation

2024-05-08 10:20:23China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

There are huge opportunities for Malaysia and China to enhance cooperation as the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year, officials and experts said at a forum in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.

"In our nation-building journey for shared prosperity, we recognize China as a reliable friend and partner," Malaysia's Deputy Minister of Energy Transition and Water Transformation Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir said at the Malaysia-China Commemorative Forum.

Akmal, as a representative of Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, noted the ample opportunities for both sides to consolidate and further expand the time-honored bilateral relationship.

The Malaysia Madani economic framework, introduced last year to promote inclusive and sustainable development, shares the same common values and attributes of China's concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, Akmal said.

The forum, themed "Malaysia and China: Celebrating 50 Years of Friendship and Cooperation, toward a Better Future Together", was co-organized by China Daily, Kuala Lumpur-based think tank KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, and the Malaysia-China Business Council.

As 2024 also marks the Year of China-Malaysia Friendship, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing said relations between the two countries are always at the forefront of China's relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Malaysia became the first founding member of ASEAN to establish diplomatic ties with China on May 31, 1974.

"In 1974, the China-Malaysia bilateral trade volume was less than $0.2 billion and last year's figure surpassed $190 billion, which is 950 times more than that of 1974," Ouyang said.

Comprehensive and practical cooperation is the driving force for upgrading bilateral relations in all fields, Ouyang said, noting that the mutual visa-free entry policy since the end of last year has seen the number of Chinese tourists to Malaysia rise to more than 270,000 per month.

Goh Tian Chuan, executive chairman of the Malaysia-China Business Council, said the consensus on building a China-Malaysia community with a shared future has created new momentum for developing bilateral ties.

Michael Yeoh, president of the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, said the rise of the Chinese economy will benefit the countries of Southeast Asia and the Global South.

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