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Malaysia, China to have open communication over South China Sea issue: Anwar

Malaysia, China to have open communication over South China Sea issue: Anwar

NANNING – To maintain peace and stability, Malaysia and China have agreed to have continual, open communication over the South China Sea issue, Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said after his meeting with China Premier Li Qing in Nanning, China, on Sunday.

Datuk Seri Anwar was in the southern Chinese city for a packed 14-hour visit, reported Bernama news agency. He attended the 20th China-Asean Expo, where he introduced Malaysia’s jackfruit to the Chinese market, as well as the China-Asean Business and Investment Summit.

He also witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding worth close to RM20 billion (S$5.8 billion), and had closed-door meetings with tech giant Huawei and the Chinese Communications and Construction Company.

According to Xinhua news agency, Mr Li said China stands ready to work more closely with Malaysia to maintain peace in the South China Sea, safeguard the Asean-centred regional cooperation framework, and advance the China-Asean Free Trade Area 3.0 negotiations to facilitate regional economic integration.

During their bilateral meeting at Li Yuan Resort, the two leaders also discussed the situation in Myanmar and the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

“Premier Li shared the concept of a community for a shared future for mankind, which stresses principles of openness, civility, inclusiveness and mutual respect in dealing with bilateral, regional and international cooperation,” Mr Anwar said in a statement issued on Saturday.

“These values are consistent with those of Malaysia Madani,” he added.

In January, Mr Anwar unveiled the Malaysia Madani slogan, which he said will bring the country forward, noting that the word Madani encompasses values including sustainability, care and compassion, respect, innovation, prosperity and trust.

He also invited Mr Li and Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Malaysia in 2024 to commemorate five decades of diplomatic relations between the countries, reported Bernama.

“The 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations is being planned together, and various activities will be held in Malaysia and China.

“Once again, I extend an invitation to Xi and Li to hold an official visit to Malaysia next year in conjunction with that celebration,” Mr Anwar said.

Mr Li said China will take the anniversary as a chance to work with Malaysia to pass on and deepen the friendship between both countries from generation to generation, reported Xinhua.

He added that China is ready to work on flagship China-Malaysia cooperation projects such as the “Two Countries, Twin Parks” and the East Coast Rail Link, while exploring bilateral collaborations in other areas.

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