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Chinese Consul-General in Kota Kinabalu Huang Shifang Publishes a Signed Article Titled Jointly Creating a Better Tomorrow for the China-Malaysia Community with a Shared Future
2024-06-02 14:47

Time flies. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia.

Great changes have taken place over the past years. No matter how the international situation changes, China-Malaysia relations maintain steady development and are ever-growing.

In the past 12 years, China-Malaysia relations have realized an all-round and leapfrog development under the strategic guidance of the leaders of our two countries. In 2013, China and Malaysia established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. In 2023, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Anwar reached an important consensus on building a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, ushering in a new phase of China-Malaysia relations. In the same year, China and Malaysia adopted a reciprocal visa-free entry policy for their citizens, which has facilitated people-to-people exchanges and cooperation. The Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries has yielded fruitful results, and China has been the largest trading partner of Malaysia for 15 consecutive years. In this May, China decided to extend the short-stay visa-exemption policy for citizens of Malaysia to December 31, 2025.

In recent years, the landmark progress in China-Malaysia relations has created a conducive environment for the friendly cooperation between China and Sabah-Labuan. The two sides have deepened their friendly relations, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation, and enhanced people-to-people exchanges. In 2023, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, a number of Cabinet Ministers and State Legislative Assemblymen/women visited China, which has significantly bolstered the exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in various fields on the local level. The number of Chinese provinces and cities establishing Friendship relationship with Sabah and Kota Kinabalus has gradually increased. Cooperation between China and Sabah-Labuan in all areas like investments, trade and culture has been strengthened with a strong momentum. China is Sabah's largest trading partner. More and more Chinese enterprises have come to Sabah for site inspection and settlement, injecting more vitality into Sabah’s economy. China’s Kibing Group, which has invested 3 billion Malaysian ringgit in Sabah's photovoltaic glass manufacturing industry, has successfully exported the first batch of photovoltaic glass from Sabah, achieving Sabah's groundbreaking success in this field. Furthermore, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Sabah. China also ranked first in terms of the number of tourists visiting Sabah in the first three months of this year. It could be said that the friendly cooperation between China and Sabah-Labuan has brought tangible benefits to the peoples of both sides.

Looking back on the glorious history of China-Malaysia diplomatic relations and of the cooperation between China and Sabah-Labuan over the past 50 years, we have gained valuable experience and inexhaustible strength. Looking ahead, we are full of confidence and well-equipped to jointly create a better tomorrow for the China-Malaysia community with a shared future.

There is a solid political foundation for the development of our bilateral relations. China and Malaysia are friendly neighbors sharing weal and woe, and have always supported each other in safeguarding their core interests and national dignity. Malaysia has unswervingly adhered to the one-China policy. China will firmly support Malaysia in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions,and prioritizes the development of China-Malaysia relations in its neighboring diplomacy.  China and Malaysia will always be good and true friends, who respect and trust each other.

There is great potential for our cooperation. China is striving for its modernization in all respects through high-quality development, and moving faster to develop new quality productive forces. Malaysia is promoting the principle of "Malaysia Madani" in governance and developing emerging industries, and Sabah is implementing the "Sabah Maju Jaya" development plan. We will share development opportunities, synergize our development strategies,and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation to lend a great boost to our respective process of modernization.

There is strong public suppor for our friendship. The traditional friendship between China and Malaysia has a time-honored history and remains uninterrupted "like a flowing river". Sabah has a stable society and exceptional Chinese cultural heritage. Our peoples have warm feelings toward each other, as evidenced by the robust cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and always help each other. We should make good use of the combined effect of “mutual visa exemption plus direct flights”, promote people-to-people exchanges and subnational cooperation. We should create more opportunities for our youth so that our friendship will be carried forward from generation to generation.

After a journey loaded with achievements over the past 50 years, we have now come to a new historic milestone. We on the Chinese side are ready to work with Sabah-Labuan friends from all walks of life to implement the common understandings reached between leaders of our two countries. Together we will take the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia as an opportunity, and work hand in hand to make our shared aspiration and common progress a reality. Together we will build a China-Malaysia community with a shared future in the new era. The tree of China-Malaysia friendship will grow tall and sturdy and bear more fruits for our two peoples. This is what we expect and what we hope to witness together.

It is my sincere hope that China and Malaysia will continue to enjoy prosperity and friendship for many years to come.

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