SPEECH BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA DATO’ SRI MOHD NAJIB TUN ABDUL RAZAK AT THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER TO COMMEMORATE THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN MALAYSIA AND CHINA
4TH JUNE 2009, BEIJING, CHINA
His Excellency Mr Li Keqiang
Vice Premier of China
Ladies and gentlemen
1. Firstly, I would like to thank the China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Malaysia-China Friendship Association and the Malaysia-China Business Council for inviting me to this Dinner to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. For me, it is with both a sense of pride, as well as for sentimental reason that I commemorate this historic occasion for it was my father, the late Tun Razak, who as the 2nd Prime Minister of Malaysia made this momentous journey to China slightly more than 35 years ago which led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. As his son, I stand here awed by this great history when Malaysia became the 1st ASEAN country to diplomatically recognise China 35 years ago.
2. In my visits to China, I have never failed to be awed by your remarkable progress and rapid transformation. Your sustainable growth and peaceful development amazes many people, including Malaysia. I would like to also offer my congratulations to the Government and people of China for your successful organization of the Olympic Games last August. Beijing has become even more developed with the various infrastructure you have put in for the Olympics. Beijing is a more beautiful and a cleaner city. This is remarkable for such a large city with a population as large as yours.
3. I believe that the 21st Century, which many have predicted to be an Asian Century, will actually be destined to be China’s Century. Your rapid progress and peaceful development is unstoppable and it is clearly inevitable that China will become a major world economic power. In fact, I have recently read that by the end of this year, China will overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy. This augurs well for Asia. We, in Asia take pride in your transformation and robust growth. China has become an inspiration to many countries not only in Asia but also in Africa and Latin America. I am confident that the progress of China will benefit the countries of Asia. China has now become an important importer of products from ASEAN and also a major source of tourists. Increased trade and investment flows will continue to benefit us. Hence, China’s development and transformation should not be feared but rather be welcomed for a peaceful and prosperous China is good for Asia and also for the world at large.
Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen,
4. On a bilateral basis, the relationship between China and Malaysia has never been stronger than now. We enjoy a healthy relationship, one that is based on mutual trust and respect. On the international front, Malaysia and China share common stands on many important global issues. Our bilateral cooperation have grown from strength to strength. Only yesterday and even this afternoon, during the bilateral and business discussions between our sides, several new Agreements and MOU’s were signed. I believe that our bilateral ties will benefit both countries. Business, trade and economic cooperation remains strong and robust. Educational exchanges continue to be mutually beneficial as thousands of students from China are currently studying in Malaysia and there are some Chinese students in the Beijing Foreign Studies University learning Bahasa Malaysia or the Malay Language. Tourist flows between both countries are increasing.
5. I am confident that with 35 years of history, our bilateral ties will grow from strength to strength in the decades ahead. We can learn from one another. There is no end to learning and through more exchanges of visits, we can get to know each other even better. The friendship between China and Malaysia, I believe, will remain strong as the friendships between our peoples continue to deepen. Whilst we remain close to each other, it is important that we do not take our relationship for granted. We need to continually nurture this relationship so that it will not, through benign neglect, result in any misunderstanding or miscommunication. Therefore, I hope we shall continue to visit one another, to get to know each other more. Mutual trust, open communication and regular exchanges will ensure a healthy bilateral relationship.
6. Malaysia is a multi-racial nation with our citizens from different ethnic background and religious beliefs. Yet, we work and live together in a harmonious multi-racial society with peace and harmony. Malaysian citizens of Chinese origin have contributed enormously to Malaysia’s growth and development and are equal citizens of Malaysia. Although our Chinese citizens have a common ancestry from China, they remain loyal to our country, contributing to our growth and prosperity. Many Malaysian Muslims are also fascinated with the Muslim Minority in China and have travelled to China to learn more about China’s Minority Muslim population. Hence, we can mutually benefit through such regular visits. It is therefore my hope that the friendships between the people of China and Malaysia will remain forever bright and shining.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
7. Finally, I take this opportunity to wish the Government and People of China continued peace, progress and prosperity and when you later this year celebrate the 60th Anniversary of your People’s Republic, may I extend the best wishes of the Government and People of Malaysia.