ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
China pays tribute to Chinese community in Malaysia
China has paid tribute to the Chinese community in Malaysia for their support in making possible the close relationship between the two countries which began 40 years ago.
The Chinese Embassy’s consular officer, Lin Dong, said he hoped that such ties would remain strong as Malaysia and China celebrated the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
“The Chinese in Malaysia have witnessed and experienced the process throughout the 40 years and it will not be possible without their support and contributions,” he said in his speech as guest of honour at the Chinese New Year celebration organised by the Federation of Kwang Tung Associations here on Sunday.
Also present were association president Koo Yuen Kim, Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) president Liow Tiong Lai and Federation of Chinese Associations (Hua Zong) president Pheng Yin Huah.
Lin said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was expected to attend the 40th anniversary celebration in Beijing in May.
“The Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, is also expected to visit Malaysia soon after the celebration. We hope to further enhance China’s investment in Malaysia and will work towards this aim,” he said.
Malaysia, he said, was China’s sixth largest trading partner after the United States, Japan, Australia, South Korea and Germany.
Last year, Malaysia and China recorded more than three million visitors between the two countries, said Lin.
“Malaysia’s embassy office in China issued over 1.7 million visas to our people while in Malaysia, we approved 530,000 visas to Malaysians,” he said, adding that an average of 1.5 million Malaysians visited China every year.
“We are looking towards visa-free travel beween Malaysia and China, and we know that this is not going to be easy. But we hope it can be achieved one day to further enhance our relations,” he said.
China, he said, would also be opening a consul-general’s office in Penang and Kota Kinabalu, which was announced during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Malaysia in October.--The Star
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