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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

(The Star) China-M’sia ties mutually beneficial

In strengthening cooperation between China and Malaysia, both countries know that it is done on a mutually beneficial basis.
China-Malaysia bilateral ties are fortified by equality, mutual benefit and win-win principles that allow both sides to gain.
Our close relation is the result of long-term hard work between the two governments and their people, and we must not allow anybody to cast aspersions on what has been achieved so far.
The cooperation between China and Malaysia will bring both immediate and long-term benefits to our nations. This cannot and will not hurt the interest of the people of Malaysia.
Hence, we fail to understand how this win-win cooperation could spark disputes constantly.
There are people who, when they were in power, pushed for friendly ties with China and welcomed Chinese investments to Malaysia.
But when they are no longer in power, they strenuously fan anti-China sentiments and deliberately dismiss Chinese investments as China “robbing rice bowls of locals”.
When they were in power, they enthusiastically praised the friendly ties of Umno and MCA with the Communist Party of China; but when they are not in power, they arbitrarily accuse such exchanges as “opening the floodgates for foreign power to influence Malaysia”, etc.
Where is their integrity in making such conflicting statements? Could such behaviour win respect from the international community? Do they deserve the trust of Chinese Malaysians?
Facts speak louder than arguments. We can quote facts to expose the intentional big lies and falsehood surrounding this allegation of “China robs rice bowls of locals”.
The rapid rise in economic and trade cooperation between Malaysia and China is undeniable before everybody’s eyes.
In recent years, total bilateral trade has maintained at around US$100bil (RM438.9bil).
China has consecutively been Malaysia’s biggest trading partner for the last seven years; and Malaysia for these past eight years has been the largest trading partner of China in Asean.
However, for years, China has not been investing in Malaysia as much as Malaysia has in China.
Those who now allege “China robs Malaysians of rice bowls” had once appealed for more investments from China.
Against a backdrop of deepening bilateral relations, as well as China’s encouragement to its enterprises to come to Malaysia, there are more and more Chinese investments coming to Malaysia under the Belt and Road initiative.
Our companies enter into business cooperation with local enterprises for mutual benefit, to promote economic development and create more jobs for the locals.
In this aspect, the Chinese Government often places high priority on programmes that could most benefit the ordinary people.
For example, China has agreed not to set an import limit on Malaysian palm oil and encouraged Chinese firms to invest in the Malaysian palm oil sector to benefit hundreds of thousands of smallholders.
During the recent visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, China and Malaysia signed a quarantine-cum-veterinary health agreement that allows Malaysia’s raw bird nests to be exported to China, so that tens of thousands of farmers stand to benefit (from having a huge market and higher prices).
And another example: When China agreed to provide RM55bil financing for the development of East Coast Rail Link, it came with the intention to construct infrastructure in the relatively economically backward east coast states to bring long-term economic development. In this project, China will bring in equipment and technology transfer. It will source raw materials locally and create jobs.
In its foreign policy towards neighbours, China emphasises sincerity, inclusiveness and mutual help to reach a win-win situation.
China is willing to share with its friendly neighbours the “bonus” it derives from economic reforms and development.
China subscribes to a “non-intervention” foreign policy and will not interfere with the domestic politics of other countries, but we also do not hope to see people with an agenda to politicise our friendly bilateral relations.
If individuals choose to ignore facts and deploy all conceivable high-handed tactics to hit at China-Malaysia cooperation that is beneficial to both nations, this will not only hurt the right of ordinary Malaysians to pursue a better life, but will also undermine the opportunities of local businessmen in their pursuit of channels for business expansion.

This is a translated version of the Chinese Embassy statement on how close bilateral relations have benefited Malaysia.