KUALA LUMPUR (Rahnuma): May 27 (Xinhua) — Bold diplomatic steps and a strong cooperative relationship have been the key features of Malaysia-China relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 45 years ago, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said on Monday.
Speaking at the reception for the 45th anniversary of China-Malaysia diplomatic relations hosted by the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, Saifuddin said the move by Malaysia to forge ties with China was a bold step given the political climate at the time.
“Today, we celebrate the bold decision taken by both countries to establish diplomatic relations 45 years ago,” he said.
“It was motivated in some part by the belief that China’s re-emergence is inevitable, and that one day, China would regain its place as one of the leading nations of the world. That day has arrived and as the Chinese proverb says ‘True friendship is forged in difficulty’.”
Saifuddin pointed to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s two visits to China since assuming office last May, the first being an official visit last August and the second in April this year for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, as examples of how Malaysia would remain a steadfast partner of China.
“Our relations have gone from strength to strength over the last four decades. It would not be as successful today without the contributions by many, some of whom are here among us,” he said.
Saifuddin added that the Malaysian government is working towards the relaxation of some of the entry requirements for Chinese tourists, with an announcement expected to be made soon.
In his address, Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian hailed the achievements of cooperation between China and Malaysia.
The Chinese government and people wish to further promote the already flourishing friendly relations with the Malaysian government and people.
“I trust that under the guidance of our leaders and with the efforts from us all, the China-Malaysia relations will embrace a broader prospect of cooperation, forging a better future for both peoples,” he said.
The reception was added with the screening of a short film on interactions and friendship between Malaysians and Chinese, featuring actors from both countries.
China and Malaysia established diplomatic relations on May 31, 1974.