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Malaysia-China Commemorative Forum

KUALA LUMPUR: Visa-free travel to China for Malaysian citizens has been extended until the end of 2025, says Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing.

“This will further promote the exchange and cooperation between our two countries,” he said.

Addressing the Malaysia-China Commemorative Forum yesterday, he pointed out that Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was on a visit to France, had announced on Monday that the visa-free policy for citizens from 12 countries, including Malaysia, to enter China would be extended until the end of 2025.

The 15-day visa-free policy applies to Malaysian citizens holding ordinary passports to go to China for business, tourism, family visits and transit purposes.

This visa-free privilege was first announced by China on Nov 24 last year. Prior to this latest announcement, the visa-free policy is enforced from Dec 1, 2023 to Nov 30, 2024.

As for the outcome of the mutual visa-free entry policy which started late last year, Ouyang said Chinese visitors to Malaysia now exceed 250,000 per month, with a recent surge of over 80% during the five-day Workers’ Day holiday.

“Flights between China and Malaysia have now increased to more than 350 per week,” he said, adding that the figures are a good indication of the ever-growing closeness between both nations.

In his speech at the Commemorative Forum, Ouyang also spoke of the strong and progressive relations between Malaysia and China.

“Malaysia and China are good neighbours, close friends, trustworthy partners and weal-and-woe sharing brothers whose friendship dates back to thousands of years ago,” said Ouyang.

He said China’s focus on developing new quality productive forces presents more cooperation opportunities for Malaysia, particularly in areas like artificial intelligence, big data, digital economy, green development, new energy vehicles and other emerging industries.

Looking ahead, Ouyang expressed a shared vision for the next 50 years, emphasising closer collaboration between China and Malaysia in forging a future together.

“We have co-created the glorious past 50 years of history.

“We should deepen win-win cooperation in various fields on the basis of respecting each other’s development path,” he added.

Ouyang urged both nations to work together to deepen political mutual trust, strengthen communication and coordination on major issues, and consolidate the political foundation of China-Malaysia relations.

The Commemorative Forum was held to mark the 50 years of diplomatic relationship and to foster deeper economic collaboration.

It was jointly organised by the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, Malaysia-China Business Council, China Daily Asia Pacific, Star Media Group Bhd and Sin Chew Media Corporation Bhd.

Also present were Deputy Energy Transition and Water Transformation Minister Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir, who represented Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, KSI Strategic Institute Asia Pacific president Tan Sri Michael Yeoh, Malaysia-China Business Council executive Datuk Alvin Tee, who represented his committee chairman Tan Sri TC Goh, China Daily deputy editor-in-chief Zhou Li, Star Media Group chief executive officer Chan Seng Fatt and chief content officer Datin Paduka Esther Ng.

In Fadillah’s speech that was read by Akmal Nasrullah, he said Malaysia and China have “tremendous potential” for deeper cooperation that extends beyond politics and economics into areas such as education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges.

Citing examples, he said the implementation of a plan of action for the Asean-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, and Asean-China Free Trade Area, would bring positive spillover effects to Malaysia and address future challenges in areas such as food security, clean energy, supply chain and public health emergencies.


“In 2023, we witnessed a total of 32 high-level visits between the two countries. These visits have contributed to the strengthening of bilateral ties and promoted closer people-to-people relations,” he said.

During the Prime Minister’s visit to China last year, he said Malaysia secured 19 memorandums of understanding from Chinese entities with an investment commitment of RM170bil.

Looking ahead, Fadillah said Malaysia and China could expand and accelerate their collaboration in infrastructure, digital economy, green development, new energy vehicles and rare earths.


(From The Star)

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