BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping calls Malaysia a “good, close and reliable neighbour”.
To a high-powered Malaysian delegation led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Xi said that he was happy to see the vision of the China-Malaysia comprehensive partnership struck in 2013 coming to fruition now.
“I am happy to see that many of the agreed projects mooted under this vision have been implemented.
“Malaysia is indeed a good, close and reliable neighbour,” said Xi in his brief opening remarks at Diaoyutai Guest House here when Najib and several Cabinet Ministers met with him.
He praised the Malaysian leader for making great contributions to enhancing China-Malaysia relations, which were first established by Najib’s father Tun Abdul Razak in 1974 when the latter was premier.
Describing Razak as having made “historic contributions” to Sino-Malaysian ties as he was the first Asean leader to establish official ties with China in 1974, the Chinese leader said he was glad to see Najib continue the good work of his father to further promote close relations.
Xi said Najib’s current third official visit was “very important” for future cooperation in various fields as it had further deepened bilateral relations between two countries that practised mutual respect.
After a closed-door meeting of delegations from both sides, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan hosted an official dinner for the Malaysian delegation that included Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China.
Najib expressed his gratitude for Xi’s hospitality and the high-level reception for him and the Malaysian delegation.
He also congratulated Xi for being elevated recently to be the “core leader” of China.
“It’s very important that your strong, visionary and effective leadership has the strong support of the Communist Party of China.
“We believe that your leadership will propel China forward and the Chinese dream that you cherish will be fulfilled under your leadership,” he said.
At a press conference after attending a banquet hosted by Xi and his wife, Najib said he told Xi during a 90-minute meeting that Sino-Malaysian relations had attained a “new height”.
At the meeting, Xi “responded positively” to the Malaysian leader’s proposal to import more Malaysian palm oil to the level China had bought three years ago.
To help 10,000 small farmers in Malaysia, Najib expressed his wish that China could allow the import of raw and uncleaned bird nests. China is the world’s biggest consumer of bird’s nest.
On the South China Sea territorial disputes, both leaders agreed that obstacles could be surmounted to bring about peace and harmony to Asean and the South China sea.
“We agreed that if there are problems over South China Sea, we will contact each other directly,” said Najib.
Xi agreed to Najib’s invitation to visit Malaysia to jointly officiate the full development of Xiamen University Malaysia, while the Malaysian leader accepted Xi’s invite to attend a major Belt and Road conference in the coming year. Xi last visited Kuala Lumpur in 2013.