KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — China and Malaysia’s bilateral relations have continued to grow in strength in various aspects throughout 2020 although the world was affected by the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.
China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing said China and Malaysia are good friends, and their relations had stood the test of time.
“No matter how the world changes, our leaders always regard China-Malaysia relations as a priority.
“And our leaders have also played a leading role in the development of the bilateral relations,” he said in his speech during the online Chinese New Year reception aired from the embassy’s Facebook page on Monday.
The Ambassador noted that China and Malaysia had helped and supported each other in facing the pandemic.
He said the close relations were reflected in the cooperation between both governments and their people on sharing experiences on the pandemic prevention and control, vaccine development, as well as donating medical supplies to each other.
“And we have overcome the adversities together. Through our concrete actions, we have shown the world how China and Malaysia shared weal and woe like brothers,” he said.
He added that the mutually beneficial cooperation between both nations has been growing rapidly.
He said that even during the pandemic, high-level visits between both countries remained uninterrupted.
He said Malaysia had successfully held the virtual Apec (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) 2020 in November, which, upon invitation from Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Chinese president Xi Jinping had participated.
“Together, our leaders have sent out the positive signals of upholding an open and free trade, and jointly promoting stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
Last year, Chinese Defence Minister and State Councilor Wei Fenghe and Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi had also visited Malaysia.
Ouyang said that despite the downward pressure from the global economy and challenges posed by the pandemic, China and Malaysia have together safeguarded the sound development of their economic cooperation.
He said in 2020, China-Malaysia bilateral trade volume and total investment have both bucked the trend and achieved growth.
China has been the largest trading partner of Malaysia for 12 consecutive years, and is expected to be the largest FDI source in the manufacturing sector for five consecutive years, he added.
He also expressed optimism that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which China and Malaysia together with 13 other nations had signed, will push strong energy to the economic recovery and growth for both China and Malaysia.
He also hoped that China and Malaysia would continue to stand firmly with each other to fight against the pandemic and economic recession.
On another note, Ouyang, who assumed his duty as the 16th Ambassador of China to Malaysia since January, pledged to do his utmost to advance China-Malaysia friendship and cooperation, and scale the bilateral relations to new heights.
He said despite the restrictions on physical movements, he had been conducting engagements with officials in government, companies, local communities and think tanks via video calls.
“Although my friends and I are divided by the monitors, I am still deeply touched by everyone’s affinity towards China. I am also greatly encouraged that people I met are all confident and determined to promote China-Malaysia cooperation,” he said.
The Ambassador also hoped that in the post-Covid-19 era, China and Malaysia could strengthen the traditional cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, tourism, infrastructure development and personnel exchanges, among others.
‘We could make steady progress in furthering the Belt and Road Initiative and explore the full potential of our cooperation in emerging fields, including digital economy and advanced technologies.
“All these efforts will give further opportunities to our developments and bring more benefits to our peoples,” he added.
Chinese communities worldwide will usher in the year of the Ox on Feb 12. — Bernama