The strong bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and China must continue to flourish to build a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable regional economic ecosystem as the ASEAN region has become one of the fastest-growing regions in 2023.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul said in that particular relationship, Malaysia should be seen as the gateway to ASEAN countries.
He said as the world becomes more interconnected, one country's wealth is frequently correlated with the prosperity of its neighbours and the relationship between Malaysia and China is an illustration of ASEAN.
“Although not geographically close, we have strong historical, cultural, and economic relations as both countries have collaborated on many different fronts throughout the years, from trade and investment to education and tourism, showcasing the power of bilateral collaboration,” he said in his public lecture at Tsinghua University, Beijing, here today.
Earlier during his visit to the university, Johari also held a meeting with Tsinghua University’s President Wang Xiqin.
From the ASEAN multilateral perspective, Johari said the close strategic communication in the ASEAN-China partnership is essential to maintaining an ASEAN-centered regional architecture open and inclusive as well as conducive to regional peace and stability.
“As sustainability and viability become the agenda to map our futures, both parties must work together to enhance cooperation in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and food security.
“This can be attained by way of regional connectivity, expanding cultural, education, media, think tanks, sports, women, and youth exchanges to foster closer human connections,” he said, adding that the relationship between ASEAN and China is advantageous for both parties and functions as a pillar of regional stability and prosperity.
Moreover, Johari said the concept of the ‘Asian Century’ postulates, that the 21st century will be characterised by the growing influence and power of Asian nations, primarily those of East, South, and Southeast Asia.
The Dewan Rakyat Speaker said within the concept, ASEAN and China emerge as pivotal actors as the ‘Prosper-Thy-Neighbor’ policy can serve as a framework for nurturing beneficial relations between China and its ASEAN neighbours, including Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam.
“For instance, ASEAN and China could develop the Asian Food Hub to mitigate the food security issues that have become a global threat.
“ASEAN was founded on the principles of cooperation and mutual respect. We must continue to strengthen these ties between governments and among our people, particularly our youth, who represent the future of ASEAN,” he said.
Johari, who is leading a delegation from the Malaysian Parliament, is now on an official four-day visit to Beijing at the invitation of the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China, Zhao Leji following a bilateral meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on May 18 this year.
Johari is set to hold a bilateral meeting with Zhao and the chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Wang Huning, this evening.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency