Belt, Road ‘aims for shared de­vel­op­ment’

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Top News - By CAO DESHENG caodesh­eng@chi­

For­mer Malaysian deputy prime min­is­ter An­war Ibrahim has lauded the Chi­napro­posed Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, say­ing the ini­tia­tive, in which there is “a lot of wis­dom”, aims for shared de­vel­op­ment for coun­tries.

Al­though bi­lat­eral dis­cus­sions are still needed in spe­cific ar­eas, the ini­tia­tive is “very much wel­come” be­cause China is more proac­tive in de­vel­op­ing the re­gion, An­war told re­porters in Bei­jing when he vis­ited Ren­min Univer­sity of China last week.

“I have seen coun­tries’ very pos­i­tive re­ac­tion to the ini­tia­tive so far,” he said.

This is An­war’s first over­seas visit af­ter win­ning a par­lia­men­tary by-elec­tion in Oc­to­ber. He was Malaysia’s deputy prime min­is­ter from 1993 to 1998 and now serves as a law­maker.

He said Malaysia con­sid­ers China to be a ma­jor strate­gic part­ner. “We are very clear the coun­try wants to en­hance in­vest­ment, trade, eco­nomic, cul­tural re­la­tions with China.”

An­war ex­pressed hope that the two coun­tries can de­velop co­op­er­a­tion in such ar­eas as ro­botic tech­nol­ogy, IT, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and high-end man­u­fac­tur­ing to boost China’s ex­ports while ben­e­fit­ing Malaysia.

He said the cur­rent Malaysian gov­ern­ment stays com­mit­ted to en­hanc­ing re­la­tions with China, adding that his Bei­jing trip is to pro­mote the un­der­stand­ing reached be­tween Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Malaysian Prime Min­is­ter Ma­hathir Mo­hamad.

Ma­hathir made an of­fi­cial visit to China in Au­gust, dur­ing which he said Malaysia sup­ports and is will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

An­war also called for youth ex­changes to en­hance peo­ple-to-peo­ple ties as it is very im­por­tant for young peo­ple to un­der­stand each other’s po­lit­i­cal sys­tem, poli­cies and cul­ture so as to help boost the coun­tries’ re­la­tions in the long term.

Speak­ing of the on­go­ing trade fric­tions be­tween China and the United States, An­war said his coun­try op­poses trade pro­tec­tion­ism and sup­ports free trade.

A coun­try that pro­moted free trade for hun­dreds of years has aban­doned its com­mit­ments, An­war said, adding that he be­lieves China has the ex­pe­ri­ence and abil­ity to solve the prob­lems.

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