China-Malaysia ties set example for the region; says Chinese Premier Li

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese Premier Li Qiang said on Wednesday that China-Malaysia ties are at the forefront among relations between regional countries, and have set a benchmark and an example.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese premier is paying his first official visit to the Southeast Asian country.

In the past half century, no matter how the international situation has changed, China and Malaysia have always been committed to sincere friendship, win-win cooperation and mutual learning, he said, adding that the relationship has been steadily moving forward.

China is willing to work with Malaysia to promote the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Asian values of peace, cooperation, inclusiveness and integration, and jointly safeguard the centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in regional cooperation, he said.

China is willing to work with Malaysia to steadily advance the construction of major projects such as the East Coast Rail Link and the “Two Countries, Twin Parks,” while expanding the scale of trade and investment, promoting cooperation in such areas as logistics, new energy, artificial intelligence, digital economy and railway equipment, and strengthening cooperation in poverty reduction to better achieve win-win cooperation, he said.

Li added that China hopes to work with Malaysia to prioritize bilateral relations in their respective foreign policies and take the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to accelerate the building of a China-Malaysia community with a shared future.

He also urged the two sides to promote a high-quality implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and conclude the negotiations for version 3.0 of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area as soon as possible to jointly contribute to peace, stability, prosperity and development of the region and the world at large.

For his part, Anwar said Malaysia cherishes its friendship with China and is firmly committed to consolidating the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Malaysia adheres to the one-China policy, firmly supports the reunification of China, and does not support any words or deeds advocating “Taiwan independence,” he said.

Noting that Malaysia-China relations are at a new starting point, Anwar said that Malaysia is willing to take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties, in the spirit of mutual respect, to further strengthen exchanges at various levels as well as cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, agriculture, digital economy, education and poverty reduction, actively advance the construction of major projects, promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges, enhance mutual learning among civilizations and advance dialogue and cooperation between China and ASEAN.

Malaysia supports major initiatives proposed by President Xi, such as the Global Development Initiative, welcomes China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, and stands ready to work with China to build a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, he added.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern.

The two leaders have agreed to unswervingly strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation and take the building of a China-Malaysia community with a shared future to a higher level.

They have also pledged to continue to promote the high-quality implementation of the RCEP, push for the early conclusion of the negotiations for version 3.0 of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

They have agreed that China and relevant ASEAN countries should independently and properly handle the South China Sea issue, manage disputes and differences, promote dialogue and cooperation, and stick to the general direction of bilateral settlement.

Following their talks, the two leaders also witnessed the exchange of a number of bilateral cooperation documents in such fields as economy and trade, science and technology, culture, tourism, postal services, agricultural products exports to China, digital economy, green development, urban construction and higher education.

Before the talks, Anwar held a grand welcoming ceremony for Li at the square in front of the Prime Minister’s office. Chinese and Malaysian national flags fluttered in the wind. The two leaders stepped onto the reviewing stand. The national anthems of China and Malaysia were played. Then, Li inspected the honor guards.

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