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A Visit to Open Up New Prospects for Future

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A Visit to Open Up New Prospects for Future Columnists

A Visit to Open Up New Prospects for Future
On August 17, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathiraccompanied by Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji and his entourage, will embark on his official trip to China. Not only as the incumbent prime minister of a  friendly neighbouring country, but also as a well-respected and long-time friend of the Chinese people, he will be accorded with red carpet treatment in China. It will be the first official visit of PM Tun Dr. Mahathir to a country outside ASEAN. It is a safe bet to say that both Chinese and Malaysian readers are paying high attention to this visit, maybe even with some expectation. As the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, I do have a lot to expect. 
The visit would deepen political trust, which underpins China-Malaysia cooperation. Tun Dr Mahathir will hold talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to exchange views in warmth and depth. This will be the first time for our top leaders to meet with each other since Pakatan Harapan coalition being elected as Malaysia’s new government. However, Tun Dr. Mahathir is no stranger to China. His first tenure as the Malaysian Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003 covered exactly half of the 44 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia. During his last service as Prime Minister, he visited China for seven times. His important contributions to China-Malaysia laid a solid foundation for the comprehensive and profound bilateral relations we are enjoying today. I am confident that this time again Tun Mahathir will seek ways and means to further strengthen and deepen our relation with the Chinese leaders, ironing out a new blueprint for the two countries’ future cooperation.
Our two nations share similar aspirations and objectives to ensure lasting peace and stability both domestically and internationally. The forthcoming visit is a chance for China and Malaysia to show to the world that we have in mind our bilateral relations as well as larger picture of the international landscape, and we respect each other's core interests and major concerns. We may not see eye to eye to each other on every issue, but we are committed to approaching difference or settling issues through sincere and friendly dialogues like friends and brothers. This is the key to enhancing mutual understanding and building a relationship based on mutual respect, mutual trust and win-win cooperation that could serve as a good exemple of bilateral relations for other countries. 
The visit would strengthen mutual beneficial cooperation. After years of development, there is a lot of economic inter-dependence between China and Malaysia. China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner for nine consecutive years, the largest investor in Malaysia's manufacturing industry for two consecutive years and the largest source country of foreign tourists to Malaysia for six consecutive years. Yet we still have huge potential to tap into. The Belt and Road Initiative has more to offer Malaysia as well. During this visit, leaders of the two countries are expected to reach consensus on many areas of cooperation and to witness the signing of a number of MOUs and agreements. These will enable Malaysia and China to further synchronize their development strategies, take mutually-beneficial cooperation to a new level, and seek to harvest more fruits across multiple areas, from trade and investment to agriculturedigital economy, high-techtourism and etc. 
China always regards Malaysia as a priority partner in investment and cooperation. We encourage creditworthy and best-performing Chinese enterprises to invest in Malaysia. Concurrently nowadays, as I am aware, there are talks about a few other mega Chinese FDI coming to Malaysia. China construction Bank Malaysia purchased 200million RM from the local bond market. In Johor, D&Y, a private spinning company from Shandong province of China, kicked off its Phase II – 118 Thousand Spinning Factory Project recently. When the 3rd phase factory goes into production, hopefully within this year, D&Y’s total investment in Malaysia will reach to 400 million USD, creating over 2000 employment opportunities for local people. What’s more, Mr. Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group and Mr. Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Group, two world-famous Chinese business tycoons respectively called on Tun Mahathir in July. Encouraged by the Prime Minister, they have decided to beef up their investment in Malaysia. These fully reflect the confidence of the Chinese business community in the economic prospects of Malaysia and the China-Malaysia cooperation. I expect more Chinese companies, after this visit, will come to invest in Malaysia and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation, create more job opportunities, offer technology transfer and bring about more benefits to the Malaysian people. 
The visit would promote the time-honoured profound friendship between our two peoples. Having served for eight months as the Chinese Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, I am deeply touched by the friendship towards China by the Malaysian people. That historic friendship dates back to ancient times, which has been deeply rooted in our blood. Thanks to the commitment and support of people from the wider communities of the two countries, China-Malaysia relations have grown closer and closer in recent years. I expect that during this visit, the both sides will come up with more ideas to enhance the people to people exchange, from the area of culture to youth, media, think tank, tourism, sports, education and etc, with the aim to ensure our blossoming friendship spans across generations. 
In China, the new government took office in March after the 19th National Congress Party of the Communist Party of China marked the beginning of a new era for socialism with Chinese characteristics. Here in Malaysia, after May 9, people witnessed the first ever change of government since the country's independence. Both China and Malaysia are standing at the doorstep to a new era. With hard work and cooperation, we can all look forward to a better, brighter future. The Chinese government is ready to work with the Malaysian new government to build a stronger, better relationship based on shared interest and mutual benefit. I am fully confident that there will be a fruitful visit awaiting PM Tun Mahathir in China. With this milestone visit, I hope China-Malaysia relations would embrace their even brighter future in the days to come. To advance this important relationship, let us embrace change, seize new opportunities and build on new grounds in order to open up new prospects for the future.   
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