I AM no stranger to Malaysia. My ties with Malaysia dates back to several working visits to this country in the past few years. Malaysia’s vibrant, beautiful beaches, blue skies, its diverse, warmth and friendly people have all left great impressions on me. At that time, I did not expect to have another chapter with Malaysia.

I still remember the giant pandas Xing Xing and Liang Liang, symbolising the China-Malaysia friendship, making their way from Sichuan to Malaysia in 2014. I heard that in just six years’ time, two adorable baby pandas — Nuan Nuan and Yi Yi — were born in this blessed land.

Throughout the last six years, the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Malaysia has been full of vigour, just like the baby pandas. The pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, which spans various fields, has borne fruitful results.

Several years ago, I may have been just be a passerby to Malaysia. But now, as the 16th ambassador of China to Malaysia, I am ready to pick up the baton to pass on and forge ahead with the China-Malaysia friendship. We are now standing on the historical high point of bilateral relations. Hence, for me, it is both a great honour and a great responsibility to carry on the flames of our bilateral relations.

As we enter 2021, on behalf of the Embassy of China in Malaysia, I would like to wish “Happy New Year” to the Malaysian people and to friends from all walks of life who care and support the development of China-Malaysia relations. I believe that the new year will inject new momentum into the mutually beneficial cooperation and open a new chapter for friendly relations.

In the new year, China and Malaysia will embrace new opportunities. The year 2021 marks the beginning of China’s “14th Five-Year Plan”, through which China will realise its first centenary goal (to build a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by the time the Communist Party of China celebrates its centenary in 2021).

With this strong impetus, China will begin its new journey towards the second centenary goal (to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the time the People’s Republic of China celebrates its centenary in 2049).

China will accelerate the process of creating a dual circulation development pattern that centres around internal circulation with the domestic and international markets promoting each other.

This will stimulate the huge domestic market potential of China, while, at the same time, make China’s opening-up measures larger in extent, wider in scope and deeper in degree. Meanwhile, Malaysia is currently formulating the 12th Malaysia Plan, which will chart the course of economic recovery in revitalising the country. With highly complementary development demands, China and Malaysia are natural cooperative partners.

Malaysia is set to benefit from China’s development with more investments and more opportunities, reaping the fruitful results of China’s development. Soon, China and Malaysia will accelerate the process of implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, pinpointing crucial projects such as “Two Countries, Twin Parks” and East Coast Rail Link to ensure development momentum.

The “new normal” brought by the pandemic has stimulated greater bilateral cooperation. Emerging industries, such as e-commerce, digital economy and artificial intelligence, will be the new growth areas for bilateral cooperation.

In the new year, the China-Malaysia friendship will reach new heights. Currently, Chinese and Malaysian people are fighting on the frontline of the pandemic prevention and economy recovery. We expect more, and we must work more, so that we will harvest more. We will continue to join hands with the Malaysian side and push forward our mutually beneficial cooperation, achieving common development. For this goal, I am full of confidence and expectation.

A frequent saying of the Chinese is “great accomplishments require ambition and tireless effort”, and I have recently come to know a similar Malaysian saying, “Rajin berusaha tangga kejayaan” (hardwork is the ladder to success).

From today, I will come to know and love Malaysia as my home with an open arm and heart, and I will work hard with Malaysian friends from all walks of life to carry on with the glory of the past and forge ahead with friendly cooperation between China and Malaysia. Together, we will create a better tomorrow for China-Malaysia relations.

(This article written by the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Malaysia)


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