Bilateral relations between China and Malaysia is now on a more steadfast momentum, bringing more tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries, said China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian. -- Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Bilateral relations between China and Malaysia is now on a more steadfast momentum, bringing more tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries, said China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian.

Speaking at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China celebration yesterday night, Bai pointed out that Beijing-Kuala Lumpur relations have been growing in strength for the past 45 years, featuring equality, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

“The Pakatan Harapan government led by (Malaysian) Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) has been keen on developing China-Malaysia relations,” he said. Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng was the guest of honour at the event, held at a hotel here.

Bai also recalled that this year also marks the 45th anniversary of China-Malaysia relations, adding that Malaysia was the first ASEAN country to establish diplomatic ties with China and among the first countries to support and participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.

Bai said during the closing ceremony of the “Malaysia Week 2019” campaign co-hosted by Malaysian government and the Alibaba group, a tonne of Musang King durian was sold in less than an hour and a Chinese webcaster sold 80,000 bottles of Malaysian edible bird’s nest in just five minutes.

“That shows the strong momentum and the huge common interests of China-Malaysian friendly and cooperative relations,” he stressed.

In his speech, Bai also explained that the Chinese economy will keep a steady, sound, and sustainable growth, playing its part as an engine for the world economy, and the country will stick to the path of peaceful development and the opening-up policy.

“We will continue to devote ourselves to upholding multilateralism and a fair and just international order, building a community of shared future for mankind,” he further said.

Bai said China has also been living up to its responsibilities as a major power by proposing Chinese approaches and sharing Chinese wisdom to the reform of global governance systems.

“We learn from others, and we share our opportunity and prosperity with others. China has been upholding the spirit of the UN (United Nations) Charter, fulfilling its international responsibilities and obligations. China has also been an active participant and pioneer in global affairs.

“Next year (2020), the Chinese people will build China into a well-off society, meaning the total elimination of poverty in China, and that 1.4 billion people will be living better-off lives. It would be nothing less than a miracle in the history of mankind,” said the ambassador.

Elaborating, Bai said the past 70 years saw China transforming from an underdeveloped agrarian country to become the largest exporter and the second-largest importer of commodities, and the second-largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) recipient country.

China is now the largest trading partner for more than 130 countries and a driving force for world economic growth, contributing 30 per cent to the global growth annually for more than 10 years, he said.

Sharing China’s success story, Bai said China has the world’s largest industrial output and is the second-largest country in the area of Research and Development (R&D) spending, as well as being the largest manufacturer of automobiles.

“China has been leading the world in patent filings for eight consecutive years, and is also prominent in cutting-edge arenas such as 5G technologies, cloud computing and artificial intelligence,” Bai said.

Bai said Chinese diplomacy also has many accomplishments to its name where the number of countries with which Beijing has established diplomatic ties has increased from 18 in 1949, to 179 of today.

“With these 179 countries, China has established various partnerships, installing a world-wide cooperation network. The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping has rallied support from more than 160 countries, regions and international organisations, making it now the biggest global public good and the most dynamic platform for international cooperation,” Bai explained.

On the global front, Bai said China has risen to be the second-largest contributor to UN budget and is by far the largest personnel contributor to UN Peacekeeping operations among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

However, Bai said China is not only embracing its historical opportunities but also facing grave challenges, adding that it is expected that China will be facing even more challenges in its future development.

“Certain countries in the world find it quite difficult to accept China’s rise and are trying their best to slow down China’s growth by making troubles like trade war, Hong Kong and Taiwan issues. However, China has withstood its fair share of trials in the past, and I believe we will be able to overcome any possible external challenges in the future,” the ambassador said.