Sunday, January 22, 2012

Malaysia-China Bilateral Cooperation

Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Liu Jian pointed out that although Malaysia and China have signed a bilateral agreement on higher education cooperation, there were some unresolved issues between the two. These unresolved issues included the mutual recognition of each other's university degrees and academic qualifications. He added that on this issue, China has no problem. China has maintained a positive attitude toward higher education cooperation with Malaysia and hoped that Malaysia could recognize the Chinese universities discussed in a full-fledge manner.
During the media gathering and lunch hosted by Ambassador Liu Jian at his official residence, the Chinese envoy said it was not easy for Malaysia and China to engage in higher education cooperation. However, having a signed agreement could allow both countries to adjust the agreed upon principle and direction to work through it gradually. He said the positive meaning of the signed bilateral agreement on higher education should not be underestimated.
Hopes To Resolve Differences in Stages
Ambassador Liu Jian hoped that on bilateral higher education cooperation issue, both countries could engage more dialogues and exchanges so that the pending problems on higher education issue could be resolved in stages. He hoped that eventually both nations could turn the black and white agreement into action plan.
He added that there were few thousand Malaysian students pursuing higher degrees in China but on the other hand, the number of Chinese students pursuing higher degrees in Malaysian universities was not many. This was because the Chinese students were concerned that their qualifications were not recognized by the Malaysian university authority. This issue has become an obstacle for both countries to pursue higher education cooperation
"The question of how soon the bilateral higher education cooperation agreement can be materialized will depend on the special effort taken by both countries to work doubly hard on resolving the differences. The education authority from both nations should have more contact and more discussion on this bilateral higher education issue because it is an important issue."
Peaceful Negation To Settle Island Territorial Dispute
As for the territorial dispute over the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands in South China Sea), Ambassador Liu Jean pointed out that China has always advocated the use of peaceful negotiation and consultation method to resolve the maritime territorial conflicts. This would avoid affecting the broader relationship between China and relevant countries, including Malaysia.
He said that China and Malaysia have reached consensus not to take unilateral action to resolve the territorial dispute on these islands besides using negotiation method. He added that such measure could avoid the maritime territorial issue to turn more complicated than necessary.
Important Message at CPPCC/NPC Session
Ambassador Liu Jian also pointed out to the local media who attended the media lunch hosted by him of the four important messages sent out by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to the local and international media at the press conference held at the end of China's People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and NPC (National People's Congress) joint session.
He said the most important point of Wen's message was that China would continue to take effective measure to continue coping with global financial crisis to ensure China's economy could continue to grow within this year. Ambassador Liu Jian believed that the assurance of a balanced growth of China's economy would not only benefit China, but also the region and the world. A balanced economic growth in China would also help to further speed up global economic recovery.
At the media dialogue held at the Chinese Ambassador's official residence, Ambassador Liu Jian said China's economy in 2009 has achieved better performance than expected. Such achievement amid global financial crisis was not easy to attain. However, it has also indicated that the strategy and policy taken by China to curb global financial crisis was workable.
"This year, the international financial still consists of many uncertain factors. China will also face with similar problems. Nevertheless, China has already taken effective measure to prepare for it. We will do our best to coordinate economic growth with domestic development and economic restructuring, including the handling of inflation, people's livelihood and social justice issue."
Ambassador Liu Jian said the second message of Premier Wen Jiabao at that press conference was that since the global economic situation in 2009 was unstable, China would continue to take a serious and responsible attitude and work with the international community together to jointly resolve the world's major economic and political issues. China would work with the international community to build a new international economic and political order.
He said that the third message of Premier Wen Jiabao was that although the process of modernization would take China a long period to achieve it, but China would continue to insist to take its own path to move along an open and reformed path.
"Although China's economic development has grown faster than the region. China remains a developing country. The development of China at district areas was uneven. Besides, China has a huge population. There is income disparity in China. The economic base of China remains weak. It will take a lot strength and long period of time for China to fulfill its modernization goal."
Ambassador Liu Jian pointed out that Premier Wen Jaibao's fourth message for the media was that in the future, China would continue to insist carrying out its independent and peaceful emergent diplomatic policy.
"The approach we want to take is peaceful emergence. We want to create opportunities to work with other nations through cooperation. We want to take the win-win path to gain mutual benefit. Such development is very important in the development of China-Malaysia bilateral relationship. As Premier Wen Jiabao said, even when China became strong and developed, China would not want to call itself a superpower. Such assurance will never change. China's emergence would not pose any threat to other country. China would instead bring new benefit to the international society."
Transform Free Trade Area Pressure
Ambassador Liu Jian said that since the official launch of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area on 1 January 2010, some Chinese enterprises, especially the agricultural product businesses have also felt the free trade pressure. He said he could understand that some ASEAN countries and some industries would also feel the free trade pressure. However, he felt such trade pressure was normal.
"For some ASEAN countries and some industries that make similar products as to what Chinese manufacturers produce to have fear and competition pressure is normal. However we should look at the overall situation. When trade pressure appears, the industries should push themselves forward and try to improve their competitiveness and improve productivity structure."
Ambassador Liu Jian believed that after going through a period of adjustment and interaction, these industries could eventually overcome their trade pressure.
Central Bank Monetary Agreement Mutually Beneficial
Ambassador Liu Jian said that in 2009, the central bank of Malaysia and China signed a bilateral monetary agreement that carried a total value of M$ 40 billion ringgit.
Ambassador Liu Jian hoped that the central banks or financial institutions of both nations could further cooperate along this area to create a more favorable environment for bilateral trade.
As for the development of Malaysia-China relationship, he said that the bilateral development between the two countries has set off a new upsurge in more friendly bilateral ties since 2009. He said the good relationship between Malaysia and China was because the national leaders from both countries have attained great importance to it. Besides, the response of the local media and active participation of the local community have contributed to it. At this juncture, Ambassador Liu Jain thanked the Malaysia media for their long-term interest and support for the friendship between Malaysia and China.
Recently, was the year we witnessed speedy bilateral development between the two countries. Malaysia and China made good use of the opportunity of the 35th anniversary celebration of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties to realize mutual visits by top national leaders of the two countries. It was during that year that both countries had signed many cooperation agreements to cooperate with each other.
Cooperation in Economic, Trade, Culture and Education
Ambassador Liu Jian said Malaysia and China have deepened cooperation in economics, trade, culture, education cooperation. Despite global financial crisis in 2009, the bilateral trade volume between Malaysia and China has reached an impressive US$52 billion. For the first time, Malaysia said China become Malaysia's largest import country. As for cultural and humanity exchange, especially in tourism field, he said in 2009, as many as 30 million Chinese nationals have traveled abroad but only 1 million of them visited Malaysia. .As such there was room for both countries to develop deeper tourism cooperation.
He also said that China planned to push the exchange of visits and bilateral cooperation between Malaysia and China's political parties, cabinet ministers and parliamentarians to higher level in order to bring more real mutual benefits and for Malaysia-China bilateral ties to attain yet another new milestone.
Chinese Businesses Must Understand Investment Environment in Malaysia. (Sub-heading)
On Chinese investment in Malaysia, Ambassador Liu Jian hoped that the businesses and enterprises in China would not lose confidence to invest in Malaysia because of certain technical problems. He said the biggest problem faced by Chinese investors in Malaysia was the difference in national conditions, difference in national cultural background and large gap between the two countries' legal systems. He hoped that the Malaysian Chinese Chamber of Commerce and local businesses could help the Chinese businesses understand the investment environment in Malaysia objectively, accurately and comprehensively
Mutual Adjustment To Find Win-Win Solution
It is normal for Chinese companies to Malaysia to find incompatible environment or holding different trade opinions. After going through a period of adjustment they should be able to adapt to each other's trade practice. In addition, both parties should also promote more dialogue, exchange and mutual adjustment to find acceptable solution.
Ambassador Liu Jian said that all along, Malaysian investors in China have outnumbered the Chinese investors in Malaysia. However, the new trend now is for more and more Chinese investors wanting to invest overseas. He pointed out that in 2009, China's investment in Malaysia has increased many folds. The total Chinese investment in Malaysia reached $18 million in 2009. The total cumulated investment volume of Chinese in Malaysia was $3.9 billion.
In fact, it is only in recent years that the Chinese enterprises begin to invest in Malaysia. Most of the people I have come into contacts with feel that there is a great development opportunity for Chinese enterprises to invest in Malaysia.

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