KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s visit to China has been mutually beneficial for both countries.

The countries declared that “both sides expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes of this visit” and that Dr Mahathir who was appreciative of the warmth and hospitality shown to him and his delegation during the visit from Aug 17-21 and also extended an invitation to Premier Li Keqiang to visit Malaysia.

This was accepted by the latter with pleasure.

In a joint communique Malaysia stated that it supported the key One China Policy as well as the republic’s Belt and Road Initiative which it will continue to participate under Dr Mahathir’s administration.

“The two sides will speed up the implementation of the MoU on Promoting Mutual Economic Development through China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, and discuss the formulation of relevant outline of cooperation plans,” read the joint communique.

The nations have also mutually underscored the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, as well as safety and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

“Both sides emphasised the need for all sovereign states directly concerned 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.”

“The countries 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.”

The countries and the Asean member states are also committed to the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and encourage maritime cooperation, as well as actively push forward consultations on a Code of Conduct (COC) to see early conclusion of an effective COC, the communique stated.

“The two sides will jointly uphold multilateralism, oppose trade protectionism and unilateralism, uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the rules-based multilateral trading regime under the WTO, and promote an open, inclusive and balanced economic globalisation that benefits all,” said the statement that was issued domestically by the Malaysian Foreign Ministry.

“Both sides spoke positively of the sound and productive cooperation in defense, law enforcement and counter-terrorism, and agreed to advance cooperation in the above-mentioned areas, with a view to jointly maintaining regional security and stability,” added the statement.

China and Malaysia encouraged high level engagement in defence, and reaffirmed the commitment to establish the Secured Defence Telephone Link between both defence ministries. Both sides were also satisfied with the progress of the Joint Development and Construction of the Littoral Mission Ship.

The two sides welcomed the renewal or signing of various agreements and MoUs during the visit.

Straits Times