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Friendship Forever China - Malaysia
----Chinese Ambassador H.E. Bai Tian publishes the signed article on Malaysian mainstream media


Friendship plays a very important role in Chinese culture. In the  Analects of Confucius, Master said in the first chapter: "it is always a pleasure to greet a friend from afar". 45 years ago, a Malaysian friend came from afar and visiting China, he was the second prime minister of Malaysia, Tun Haji Abdul Razak Dato'Hussein. It was during this visit that China and Malaysia officially established diplomatic relations and ushered in a new era of friendly exchanges between two ancient civilizations.

Over the past 45 years, with the joint efforts of the leaders of the successive generations of China and Malaysia, and the peoples of two countries, China-Malaysia friendly relations have achieved leap-forward development and fruitful results of cooperation in various fields, bringing huge tangible common interests to the peoples of China and Malaysia.

45 years ago, the official exchanges and cooperation mechanisms between the two countries were just a start. Now, friendly exchanges at all levels have blossomed. 

The two countries have high-level exchange visits almost every year. The two sides have established dialogue and cooperation mechanisms in various fields such as diplomacy, economy, trade, agriculture, defense, and security.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has visited China together 9 times during his two term as the Prime Minister of Malaysia. On the occasion of 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia this year, Tun Mahathir visited China to attend the Second"Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRFIC)".On the sidelines, Tun Mahathir had meetings with the Chinese national leaders and exchanged views on the new grand blueprint for China-Malaysia cooperation.

45 years ago, the bilateral trade volume between China and Malaysia was only 159 million US dollars. By 2018, it has surged to 108.6 billion US dollars, increasing by more than 600 times. 

China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner for ten consecutive years and has been the largest source of foreign investment in Malaysia's manufacturing industry for three consecutive years.

"The Two Countries, Twin Parks project" has progressed smoothly, and projects such as the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL)  and Bandar Malaysia have revived, while cooperation such as Geely Proton and Alibaba Malaysia Digital Free Trade Zone are on going with full steam ahead. With the support of Chinese enterprises in Malaysia, about 19,000 Malaysian employees have received technical training in recent years, and the scale of this kind of training will continue to expand in the future.

45 years ago, the number of personnel exchanges between the two countries was less than 100,000 person-time a year. While now, there are more than 4.2 million tourists visiting between China and Malaysia annually and over 460 flights flying between the two countries per week.   

China has become Malaysia's largest tourist source country out of ASEAN for seven consecutive years. The number of Malaysian students studying in China and the Chinese students studying in Malaysia in high education added up to 25,000 by the end of 2018.

   Over the past 45 years, China-Malaysia relations have withstood the international and domestic vicissitudes, growing from a small sapling of friendship to a towering tree, and its abundant fruits have brought about tangible benefits to the people

   of two countries. Such accomplishments are not accidental. There must be good practices and experiences which we can draw lessons from the past.  

   If compare the China-Malaysia friendship to a tree, political mutual trust would be the soil for the planting of the tree. The successive leaders of the two countries have played an important guiding role in promoting China-Malaysia friendship.  

The governments of both sides have always adhered to the principles of mutual equality, mutual respect, mutual trust and sincerity to each other. Perhaps we do not agree on every issue, but the two sides have always insisted on handling differences through friendly consultations, building up consensus and mutual trust. 

No matter how the situation changes, the great foresight of the leaders of the two countries and the deepening political trust between the two countries will safeguard the healthy development of China-Malaysia relations.

  Win-win cooperation would be the continuous source of irrigating of the tree. Both China and Malaysia support economic globalization, openness and cooperation. Malaysia is one of the first countries to participate in and support the "Belt and

  Road" initiative. 

  Prime Minister Tun Mahathir said in his recent message to the souvenir book by the Malaysia-China Friendship Association to mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, "I have always believed in the principle of 'prosper thy neighbor and as China prospered, it has in turn prospered Malaysia as well." To which I cannot agree more. Malaysia has abundant natural resources, good business environment and high-quality talents, while China is outstanding in capital, production capacity, high technology and broad consumer market. Both sides have advantages of their own, demand from each other, and provide opportunities for each other. Our interests are closely integrated. China has always adhered to and will further carry on the spirit of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results in its cooperation with Malaysia. China will pursue shared benefits instead of seeking selfish interests. With the unremitting efforts to enlarge the pie of common interests between our two sides, there will a steady driving force for the sustaining growth of China-Malaysia relations.

The friendship between the people of two countries is the roots of the tree going deep to the ground. The eminent monk YiJing of Tang dynasty and General ZhengHe of Ming dynasty heralded the friendly exchanges between China and Malaysia in the history.  Malacca's Baba and Nyonya is the best evidence of the strong bond that links our two peoples and cultures in the ancient times.  In modern times, the two peoples always keep watch and help each other in face of disasters and difficulties. Polls show that more than 70 percent Malaysian people have a favorable view of China -- the highest among ASEAN countries. The over 6 million Chinese Malaysians even play a special role in promoting China-Malaysia friendly relations. The participation and support from the people provides the strongest foundation for China-Malaysia relations, and as the friendship and cooperation boosted, it has in turn benefited the peoples most.

Now China is striving for the dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and Malaysia's Pakatan Harapan government also proposed the "Shared Prosperity 2030" recently. China and Malaysia, as old friends, is facing new situations and opportunities. As the 15th Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, I would like to express my heartfelt respect and gratitude to everyone who has been committed to China-Malaysia friendship over the past 45 years. And I also hope to make joint efforts with all of you, to carry forward the cause pioneered by our predecessors and forge ahead into the future to better promote the development of China-Malaysia relations. China and Malaysia shall be friends forever, and shall help each other to pursue common development in the long run.

May the friendship between China and Malaysia remain fresh forever.

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