World / Asia-Pacific

Xi: Malaysia to promote China, SE Asia ties

By ZHAO SHENGNAN in Boao, Hainan ( Updated: 2015-03-27 23:43

Xi: Malaysia to promote China, SE Asia ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Boao, south China's Hainan province on March 27, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

President calls for more cooperation in finance, infrastructure

China anticipates that Malaysia, which is chairing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year, will play an active role in promoting the relationship between China and the 10-member regional group, President Xi Jinping said on Friday when meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Xi said that China and ASEAN will draw up a third plan of action to implement the joint declaration on the China-ASEAN strategic partnership in 2015, which is expected to guide the relationship's development for the next five years.

Also this year, China and ASEAN will hold activities to mark their maritime cooperation. They will also work to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Xi said in Boao, a coastal town in China's southernmost province of Hainan.

China and Malaysia should deepen cooperation in developing industrial parks, railways and finance, Xi said.

Najib said that Malaysia is willing to strengthen cooperation between ASEAN and China in various areas during the nation's rotating chairmanship.

The country will encourage ASEAN members to participate in the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiatives, said Najib.

Southeast Asia is seen as an important component of China's wide-ranging plans to revive the ancient trading routes.

China is also the largest trading partner of ASEAN, although its relationships with some ASEAN members have been strained over maritime issues.

Najib is in Hainan for the annual Boao Forum for Asia conference, a platform for dialogue that is dedicated to promoting common development through regional economic integration in Asia.

Calling China a key partner in Malaysia's diplomacy, Najib urged the two countries to expand trade and economic ties, as well as exchanges between provinces and states.

Malaysia supports the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and it welcomes Bank of China to conduct yuan-clearing business in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, he said.

The Bank of China is authorized to conduct yuan-clearing business in Kuala Lumpur, China's central bank said in January.

This is Najib's fourth meeting with Xi since he became prime minister in 2009 and his fifth visit to China since 2011, according to the New Straits Times.

The Malaysian newspaper quoted Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya as saying that a private dinner between Najib and Xi after their meeting on Friday was a testament to the strong Malaysia-China relationship, which has deepened in recent years.

China has been the top trading partner of Malaysia for years, with bilateral transactions hitting $102 billion in 2014.

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