KUALA LUMPUR: The Year 2014 will be designated as “Malaysia-China Friendship Year” to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.
The decision was agreed upon by officials of both countries at the second Strategic Consultation between Malaysia and China in Beijing yesterday, said a statement from Wisma Putra.
The Malaysian delegation led by the Foreign Ministry’s secretary-general Tan Sri Mohd Radzi Abdul Rahman and China’s Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying also agreed that appropriate activities would be organised to celebrate the occasion.
At the Second Strategic Consultation, both sides exchanged views on the progress made in various fields of bilateral cooperation and agreed that Malaysia-China relations in general were moving on the right track from strength to strength, added the statement.
These include the active exchanges of high-level visits, the speedy establishment of the China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park and Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park, and the speedy approval by China to loan Malaysia a pair of giant pandas.
Apart from that, both sides also exchanged views on current developments in the South China Sea (SEA).
“In this regard, both sides agreed on the importance for all parties concerned to remain committed and adhere to the spirit and letter of Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the SEA, towards creating a conducive environment for Asean and China to begin negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the SEA,” the statement said, adding that continued peace and stability in SEA would benefit China and the Asean region.
Malaysia and China began their annual bilateral consultation in 1991 as a mechanism for both sides to share and exchange views on various bilateral, regional and issues of mutual interest as well as to follow up on matters discussed by the leaders of both countries.
In 2010, both sides agreed to rename the bilateral consultation as strategic consultation to reflect the growing importance of Malaysia-China relations within the political-security framework of the Asia-Pacific region.
The first strategic consultation was held in Putrajaya last year.