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Joint Press Statement
1. At the invitation of His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, undertook an official visit to the People’s Republic of China from 31 October to 5 November 2016.
2. During the visit, the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak called on H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, and held talks with H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council. He also met with H.E. Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China. Both sides had in-depth exchange of views on enhancing China-Malaysia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, regional and international issues of common interest.
3. Both sides shared the similar views that the regular exchange of visits between Malaysia and China had elevated Malaysia-China relations to greater heights, ever since diplomatic ties were established in 1974. Over the course of 42 years, numerous significant cooperation in many areas were achieved. Both leaders recalled the recent high level visits undertaken by both sides including the State Visit by President Xi Jinping to Malaysia in 2013, the Official Visit by the Honorable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak to China in 2014 and the Official Visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Malaysia in November 2015. The leaders agreed that these visits have enabled both countries to further deepen their current cordial and friendly ties.
4. Both sides agreed that Malaysia-China bilateral relations is currently at its highest level and will continue to be strengthened through regular communications and exchange of visits between the leaders, government and party officials and business enterprises from both sides. Both sides reviewed and welcomed the bilateral achievements and were determined to further enhance and strengthen the existing Malaysia-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in various areas including political, economic and social development, as well as regional security cooperation.
5. Both sides agreed to ensure that Malaysia-China relationship continues to remain forward-looking, dynamic and prosperous for the benefit of the people of both friendly countries.
6. Both sides underscored the importance of maintaining mutual trust and respect as the foundation for the solid bilateral relations and cooperation between Malaysia and China. Both leaders also reemphasized the need to uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the two countries. Malaysia reiterated its firm adherence to the one China policy and supported peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and China's peaceful reunification.
7. Both sides welcomed the opening of the Consulate General of Malaysia in Nanning and the Consulate General of China in Penang and Kota Kinabalu respectively in 2015, as well as the new Consulate General of Malaysia in Xi’an in 2016. The establishment of the Consulate Offices by Malaysia and China respectively is a testament of the ever-growing bilateral relations between the two friendly countries.
8. Malaysia highly valued its place as one of the important countries under the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) Initiative proposed by the Chinese government in 2013.
9. Based on China’s statistics, the total volume of bilateral trade was registered at USD97.29 billion in 2015 and USD54.28 billion for the period of January-August 2016. Since 2009, China is Malaysia’s largest trading partner and the trade volume with China in 2015 accounted for 15.8 per cent of Malaysia’s external trade. Among ASEAN countries, Malaysia has been China’s largest trading partner since 2008.
10. The endorsement of the Joint Progress Report is a recognition of the achievements made under the ‘Five Year Program for Economic and Trade Cooperation’ (2013-2017). Both leaders believed that economic and trade cooperation between Malaysia and China will grow even stronger in the years ahead leveraging on major initiatives and frequent high level visits involving the two nations.
11. Both sides attached great importance to the ongoing cooperation on Malaysia’s South Double Track Railway?welcomed the proposed East Coast Rail Line project in Malaysia, and expressed their intention to explore potentials for future cooperation on infrastructure projects, which will strategically improve the connectivity of the regions involved, and eventually enhance the socio-economic development from the potential economic opportunities. This will include among others, transfer of technology, strengthening human capital development, consumption of local content and other long-term cooperation in the infrastructure industry.
12. Both sides looked forward to further enhancing bilateral trade and investment as well as economic exchanges. The initiative, among others, is through the Exchange of Notes to confirm the status of state-owned Institutions from each country under the Agreement between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income.
13. Both sides agreed that seaports play a vital role in regional infrastructure development. They will continue to promote cooperation between seaports in Malaysia and China and support the development of China-Malaysia Port Alliance to realize the vision of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
14. Both sides spoke positively of fruitful cooperation in areas of combating telecommunication crime, overseas pursuit, counter-terrorism and agreed to further strengthen law enforcement and counter-terrorism cooperation, enhance friendly exchanges among law enforcement and security agencies in order to make contributions to safeguarding regional security and stability.
15. Both sides are pleased with the renewal of the “Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Defence Cooperation.” Malaysia and China believed that the continuous and incremental engagements and close rapport between the defence establishments will further strengthen the existing relations. Realising the importance of expanding defence ties between Malaysia and China, both sides welcomed the signing of the “Framework of Cooperation on Joint Development and Construction of the Littoral Mission Ship for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN)” between the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense of China (SASTIND) and Ministry of Defence of Malaysia (MINDEF).
16. Both sides agreed that the tourism industry has always been an important element of Malaysia-China people-to-people exchanges. Following the introduction of eVISA and eNTRI programmes in March 2016, Malaysia is seeing a growing number of inbound tourists from China to Malaysia. Both sides agreed to strengthen the joint marketing with airlines and travel agencies and promotion efforts such as consumer fairs and websites to further increase the number of tourist arrivals in both countries, which will consolidate Malaysia-China traditional friendship and understanding at the grassroots level. Both sides recognized the growing importance of e-commerce and online marketing for tourism promotions.
17. Malaysia and China reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen and work towards a more comprehensive and mutually beneficial air transport cooperation between the two countries.
18. Both sides welcomed the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Education which will strengthen and make progress in educational exchanges between Malaysia and China. The establishment of Xiamen University Malaysia Campus marked a new milestone of tertiary education cooperation between the two countries. The University will provide talents for local community to strengthen the friendly ties between two countries.
19. Both sides shall endeavor to jointly implement the Agreement on Cultural Cooperation and the Cultural Executive Programme for 2014-2019, encourage the exchange of visits between the cultural institutions and groups, and jointly support the establishment of the China Cultural Center in Malaysia.
20. Both sides discussed the prospect of strengthening imports of commodity products by China. Malaysia is ready to increase the exports of Malaysian palm oil to China and increase the market share for Malaysian palm oil in China.
21. Both sides expressed their intention to enhance cooperation in agriculture including trade of agricultural products, promote the investment in agriculture, and strengthen capacity building and communication in the field of agricultural science and technology through the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation.
22. Both sides also believed that the signing of Protocol on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements for the Exportation of Raw-unclean Edible-Birdnest from Malaysia to China will increase Chinese consumers’ confidence in Malaysian agricultural products and further promote trade in agriculture between both countries. Both sides hoped that more market access will be given to other Malaysia agricultural products pending approvals for inspection and quarantine access requirements in the future.
23. Both leaders appreciated China’s commitment to support ASEAN Community-building towards the realization of ASEAN Community Vision 2025. The leaders welcomed the good progress in ASEAN-China cooperation and welcomed the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. Both sides also discussed the progress made in the implementation of the Plan of Action to implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity for the period 2016-2020.
24. Both sides agreed to continue coordination and collaboration in regional mechanisms including ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).
25. Both sides exchanged views on the developments in the South China Sea and underscored the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, as well as upholding freedom of navigation in and over-flight in the South China Sea, in accordance with international laws.
26. Both sides emphasised the need for all sovereign states concerned to to resolve their differences by peaceful means through friendly consultations and negotiations, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Both sides further emphasised the need for all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and to avoid actions that would complicate or escalate tensions in the South China Sea. Both sides recognised that the involvement of parties not directly concerned could be counter-productive.
27. Both sides, together with the ASEAN Member States, would work hard to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety, as well as pushing forward consultations to ensure the early establishment of a “Code of Conduct” in the South China Sea (COC) on basis of consensus.
28. Malaysia expressed appreciation for the excellent and constructive cooperation between Malaysia and China towards fulfilling the mandate of the United Nations Security Council during Malaysia’s non-permanent membership of the Security Council.
29. Malaysia expressed its sincere appreciation for China's warm welcome and hospitality accorded to the Honourable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and the Malaysian delegation during the Official Visit.