Consul Li Jian said this to Daily Express when asked whether the consulate would be established this year or next.
"Hopefully, it will be set up very soon. I regret I am unable to provide more information on the matter.
I am here on a familiarisation visit after a diplomatic tour of duty in the Philippines where things are much different from Malaysia. I find Kota Kinabalu more picturesque than Kuching as a coastal city with clear blue sea," he said.
Li, now based at the China Consulate General in Kuching, paid a courtesy call on Sabah Publishing House Sdn Bhd Managing Director Datuk Clement Yeh at the latter's office in Kampung Air, here, Wednesday.
He expressed admiration for the building of Sabah Publishing House, the publisher of Overseas Chinese Daily News and Daily Express, saying newspaper offices in the more populous and hectic Philippines are more modest.
Yeh shared the history of the newspapers with Li, pointing out that Daily Express promotes three languages - English, Malay and Kadazandusun. On plans for the establishment of a Bank of China branch in Kota Kinabalu, Li said he also has no definitive information on the matter.
He explained that as a diplomat, he was representing China at the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) International Night Appreciation function at a leading hotel here on Tuesday.
China's students are the largest foreign scholar population studying at the UMS.
"There are currently more than 300 undergraduates studying in Sabah," Li said.
Later, Yeh and Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) President Datuk Michael Lui feted the consul to lunch with some Sabah dishes, before the consul visited the KKCCCI building here.