Wed, 24 Jul 2024


Anwar says Malaysia-China ties built on mutual respect, understanding
Published on: Thursday, June 20, 2024
By: Bernama
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Anwar says Malaysia-China ties built on mutual respect, understanding
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said there are contentious issues between Malaysia and China but that they address these as equal partners and trusted friends. (Bernama pic)
Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today highlighted the friendly and respectful attitude of the Chinese leadership, emphasising the deep understanding of cultural differences during his recent interactions with Chinese premier Li Qiang.

Anwar also addressed the scepticism often expressed by international observers, particularly from Western countries, about the enhanced bilateral relationship between Malaysia and China.

He said critics frequently question whether such a comprehensive strategic partnership would be detrimental to Malaysia, a smaller nation.

“I have given assurances based on historical antecedents from the time of the Chinese emperors and the sultans of Melaka.

“This visit by premier Li Qiang, my esteemed friend, has proven the case. We engaged in hours of discussions without any arrogance or ultimatums.

“While there are contentious issues, we address them as equal partners and trusted friends… we engaged in hours of discussion as equal partners and trusted friends,” he said in his speech at a Malaysia-China business community luncheon here today.

He also reiterated the mutual benefits of learning from each other and working together to improve the quality of life for the people in both countries, as well as the importance of understanding and appreciating cultural and religious differences.

Anwar said he remembered organising a major international conference in 1995 on Islam and Confucianism, promoting ethical principles and humane economic practices.

He said he was pleased that Li also supported the idea of enhancing understanding and dialogue between Islam and Confucianism.

“I choose to say this because this itself is a rebuke and rebuttal to the incessant propaganda that we should cast aspersions and fear the dominance of China economically, militarily, technologically.

“We in Malaysia have a neutral stance, so we have the resolve to work with all countries.

“With China, we see premier Li Qiang, we see (China) as a friend that will work together with us, collaborate and prove to the world that this unity, this friendship is meaningful,” he said.

Li arrived in Malaysia for an official three-day visit on Tuesday, in the third and last leg of his eight-day tour that has taken him to New Zealand and Australia.

Li’s visit coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, following the signing of the joint communiqué between second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein and then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai on May 31, 1974.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years since 2009, with total trade in 2023 totalling RM451 billion.

Malaysia also signed a comprehensive strategic partnership with China in 2013.

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