Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian delivers an opening speech at the China-Malaysia Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation on July 29 in Kuala Lumpur. (Photo/Huanqiu.com)
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) means opportunities for bilateral ties between China and Malaysia, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said on July 29 in his opening speech at the China-Malaysia Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation.
“Many Malaysian friends ask me what BRI means to China-Malaysia relations. To put it simply, it means opportunities,” Bai said at the forum, which kicked off on July 29 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital.
Malaysia is closely connected to the China-proposed BRI, said Bai, explaining that the country was an important stop along the ancient Silk Road, and that the story of China’s famous Ming Dynasty voyager Zheng He is still widely circulated in Malaysia today.
“Malaysia was among the first countries to respond to and support the BRI since Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed it in 2013,” Bai said, adding that “BRI has brought opportunities for broader and closer pragmatic cooperation between China and Malaysia, and has served as an opportunity for better mutual understanding between the two peoples.”
Elaborating on specific goals and requirements in China’s plan to put forward the BRI promoting high-quality development, Bai said these goals and requirements will ensure that the future cooperation under the BRI will be carried out more solidly and smoothly, stressing that this will surely generate more tangible interests for the participants of the BRI including Malaysia.
“Boosting BRI construction is an important sign of sticking to and safeguarding openness, inclusiveness, and multilateralism. Malaysia has made its choices concerning such issues as the BRI, China-U.S. trade war, the 5G network and Huawei, which we highly appreciate,” said Bai.
“China and Malaysia both advocate free trade and multilateral trade systems, and have been committed to promoting the establishment of a fairer and more rational international political and economic order,” said Bai, noting that the two countries “have much in common and share many international partners that they can combine in efforts to surmount difficulties and pursue common development.”
Calling on China and Malaysia to promote all-dimensional friendly cooperation, Bai said more competitive Malaysian products are welcome to expand business in the Chinese market.
As one of the BRI-themed forum series on people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation between China and Southeast Asian countries, the China-Malaysia Forum on People-to-People Exchanges and Economic Cooperation was jointly hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia, and Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.
The forum was organized by China’s media outlet Global Times Online, and got the support of the Malaysia-China Business Council, LKK Health Products Group, National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, and the Confucius Institute at the University of Malaya.