Chinese President Xi Jinping and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad both stressed the significance of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and called for further ties through the co-building of this initiative.
The two leaders met in Beijing on Thursday, when the Malaysian prime minister is in the Chinese capital for the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation scheduled for April 25 to 27.
According President Xi, the co-building of the BRI will accelerate China’s opening-up on all fronts, which will bring about even bigger opportunities for countries, particularly those in China’s neighborhood.
He encouraged high-quality cooperation and asked for the fortification of the twin industrial parks to boost the connectivity and development between the two countries.
China and Malaysia have cooperatively set up twin industrial parks: The one in China’s Qinzhou launched in 2012 and the other in Kuantan, Malaysia, opened in 2013.
President Xi spoke highly of the “Asian values” advocated by Mahathir, saying the ideal promotes solidarity and collaboration among developing countries.
He also said both sides should reinforce multilateral coordination and accelerate the improvement of the quality of the cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Mahathir emphasized that the co-building of the BRI is a great initiative. It has huge potential, he noted, adding that it could not only address the problems straining the development of infrastructure facilities and transport in different countries, but could also tackle the imbalance in development of those countries and promote communication and exchange between different civilizations.
It will help fundamentally eradicate the root causes for wars, extremism and terrorism facing humanity, said the Malaysian prime minister.
Mahathir urged the international community to better understand the BRI that is beneficial to the world.
He further expressed Malaysia’s support for the initiative and its expectation to speed up its own development through the co-building of the BRI.