By Amirul Mohd Sajadi
BEIJING, Sept 12 -- Malaysia is looking to further expand its good relationship with China, says Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said both countries have deepened their cooperation specifically on the Belt and Road Initiative while strengthening mutual understanding of each other's civilisation and cultures.
"We also need to look at how we can improvise in managing differences and disputes while maintaining peace and stability besides promoting regional cooperation and multilateral coordination with East Asia being the main focus,” Saifuddin said.
He said this at a joint media conference with his counterpart in China, Wang Yi.
Saifuddin also thanked China for its continuous support, especially in purchasing more palm oil from Malaysia.
"We thank China for continuously buying palm oil from Malaysia, this shows that the relationship between the two countries is strong.
"Understanding is not only limited to oil palm sales but also downstream activities involving research and development and so on," he said.
In 2018, Malaysia exported 3.07 million tonnes of palm oil and palm-based products valued at RM8.4 billion to China compared with 2.87 million tonnes worth RM9.42 billion in 2017.
Meanwhile, Wang Yi said China-Malaysia relations still remained strong and dynamic despite global economic challenges.
In the meantime, both sides have come to an agreement to establish a bilateral consultation mechanism on maritime issues.
Wang Yi said tensions in the South China Sea had subsided.
“We will use the dialogue platform to differentiate and promote maritime cooperation and regional stability in the South China Sea,” he said.
Saifuddin's official visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from Sept 9 to Sept 13 is in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of the establishment of Malaysia-PRC diplomatic relations.
His itinerary include visits to the headquarters of telecommunication and IT giants, Huawei Technologies and Tencent in Shenzhen, China–Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) in Nanning, and meeting with Guangxi provincial leaders.
The CMQIP is the sister park of the Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP).