New China-Malaysia Friendship Opens
China and Malaysia open a new era of friendship celebrating 35 fruitful years of bilateral ties.
The two Asian neighbours are now taking bigger steps to deepen the root of a flourishing tree planted and nurtured since 1974.
Amid the worst global economic recession in six decades,Malaysia's sixth Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak,retracing the steps of his late father,pledged yesterday(June 3,2009) to promote the strong ties to greater heights.
Najib hoped his official visit to China would spur Malaysia forward and closer to the achievement of a new vision of 1Malaysia,People First Performance Now.
"We began as friends and the friendship between the Malay World and the Chinese World is not new," stressed Najib in Beijing on his four-day visit to China as Malaysia's new premier.
"It began during the era of the Ming Dynasty when fleet commander Zheng He visited Malacca with 35,000 troops and 300 vessels."
Had an armada of that size desired to capture Malacca then,it would have been easily ahiceved.
"However, China had no such intention," noted Najib.
"Instead. it extended a hand of friendship.
"Malaysia does not consider China a threat because Malaysia had many times to evaluate China over the past 600 years,"the Malaysian leader added.
To Najib, his first official visit outside Southeast Asia heading a high-powered 35-member delegation that includes six key ministers and four Members of Parliament, is of great personal significance.
The very meaningful visit coincides with the historic first visit of a Malaysian Prime Minister to China - his late father,Tun Abdul Razak Hussein - 35 years ago.
Tun Razak,then Malaysia's second Premier, took the bold step to establish diplomatic relations with China making Malaysia the first country in Southeast Asia to do so.
He and the late Zhou Enlai,China's Premier then,had the foresight and leadership qualities to steer the two nations towards peaceful relations based on trust.
Today,China-Malaysia ties are set to grow better,deeper and stronger to build upon the firm foundation established.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao presented a historic black and white picture of the late Razak signing a joint communique with Zhou to set up China-Malaysia diplomatic ties in 1974 as a poignant momento to Najib.
Najib showed the special photograph to his mother,Tun Rahah Mohamed Noah,wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor,daughter Nooryana Najwa and son Nor Ashman.
The picture was taken at the same spot as yesterday's welcome banquet.
Wen stressed China-Malaysia ties had been deepened and had expanded rapidly.
He cited a vital Chinese proverb that when one drank water from a well, one should not forget who had dug the well.
In an immediate response,Najib said that he would dig more wells to ensure that the flow of water would be bountiful forever for both sides to share and benefit.
Najib thanked Wen for the special welcome and warm hospitality including a stately guard-of-honour inspection near Tiananmen Square.
Najib was conferred an honorary doctorate in international relations at the Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Najib hoped both nations would be partners in charting a new course to bring about deeper bilateral relations with the new generations carrying on the work of the previous generation.
Malaysia's trade with China hit a record US$54 billion last year,ahead of the target of US$50 billion set for 2010.
About one million Malaysians visited China last year against more than 989,000 Chinese tourists to Malaysia last year.
Today,Najib paid a courtesy call to Chinese Premier Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People.
He also attended the Malaysia-China Business Forum at the China World Hotel where another 16 MoUs were signed.
Malaysia's UMW Holdings and China National Petroleum Corp. launched a 1.2 billion yuan joint venture to produce gas pipes for China's huge West-East Gas Pipeline project.