KUALA LUMPUR — Premier Li Keqiang has said China and Malaysia, standing at a new starting point for development in relations, should continue to view and grow bilateral ties from a strategic perspective.
Over the past 40 years, cooperation between China and Malaysia has set a good example of friendly exchanges between countries in the region, Premier Li said in a signed article published on Nov 20 by major Malaysian newspapers ahead of his trip to the Southeast Asian nation. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“I am no stranger to this beautiful country, as I visited Malaysia in 1996 when the Twin Towers of Kuala Lumpur were just completed,” he said, noting that Malaysia has witnessed impressive and admirable achievements in the past two decades.
Hailing the achievements China and Malaysia have made in interactions in politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges, he said the two countries’ development strategies have much in common.
Premier Li noted that as China is advancing the Belt and Road Initiative, encouraging mass entrepreneurship and innovation, and transforming and upgrading its economic structure, Malaysia is also gearing toward all-round economic transformation with the New Economic Model aimed at more robust growth.
“I see this as offering each other a perfect opportunity to boost development,” he said.
He called on China and Malaysia to draw on their respective strengths and conduct more cooperation on production capacity.
“We may encourage more enterprises to take part in the development of the industrial parks in Qinzhou and Kuantan, enhance infrastructure building and increase connectivity,” Premier Li said. “Such cooperation will produce huge development dividends to ensure steady growth and make life better for our people.”
Meanwhile, the Premier said both China and Malaysia have a major role to play in turning East Asia a major pole sustaining steady global growth, adding that China-ASEAN relations are a major cornerstone for peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region.
When talking about the upcoming East Asia leaders’ meetings, Premier Li said, “Ours is a time with interwoven traditional and non-traditional security challenges, on top of which external interference has led to incessant turbulences in some parts of the world and caused serious spillover effects.”
Countries in the region should cherish the harmonious coexistence of different cultures and development paths, and work together to uphold regional peace and stability for the long run, he said.
In the article, Premier Li also spoke of the story about Zheng He, a Chinese navigator during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) who came to Malacca for five times on his seven sea voyages.
Zheng’s dedication to peace and his readiness to reach out and help others show the very essence of the Chinese philosophy, where peace and good-neighborliness always come first, he said.
“It also constitutes part of the cultural legacy that brings countries of the region together,” he added.
Premier Li left for Kuala Lumpur on Nov 20 for his first official visit to the country since taking office in March 2013. During his four-day stay in Malaysia, he will also attend a series of East Asia leaders’ meetings.