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Tan Kok Wai: Mutual benefit is what we need, not trade wars


SERI KEMBANGAN: Only cooperation that brings mutual benefits can provide countries with long-term success, especially in times of uncertainty and an ongoing trade war between China and the United States, says Tan Kok Wai (pic).

“The trade war between China and the United States has brought much uncertainty to the global economy. With the rampant growth of geopolitical conflicts, the resurgence of Cold War ideas, trade protectionism and extremism, we need to combat this with constructive and positive ideas,” the Special Envoy of Malaysia to China said in his speech at the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) on Saturday.

Tan, who is also Malaysia-China Business Council chairman, said that the Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a tremendous strategy of cooperation and mutual benefit, and will contribute enormously to peaceful development globally.

“The government of Malaysia has made clear statements at international summits and during bilateral visits that it would vigorously support, cooperate and participate in the B&R Initiative to contribute to the mutual prosperity and growth among the region,” he said.

In his speech, Tan also highlighted the importance of the participation of overseas Chinese in the development of the B&R Initiative.

“According to statistics, there are about 60 million overseas Chinese, of which more than 40 million are residing among the countries along the Belt and Road route, especially the Asean countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

He said there are about 7 million of the Chinese in Malaysia and near to 90% had gone to schools with decent Chinese education.

“Besides China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, Malaysia provides the most holistic Chinese education. We are in a prominent position in terms of language and cultural exchange,” he said, adding that this is the biggest advantage and the cultural soft power that Malaysian Chinese have.

The WCEF is an international flagship event that provides a platform to bring together the global Chinese diaspora and promotes entrepreneurship and innovation through business networking and sharing of knowledge and best practices.

Source: The Star, 10 Nov 2018

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