Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad termed “2020 the Year of Culture and Tourism” between Malaysia and China, to enhance friendship between two countries.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the relations between the two countries had been rooted since the 15th century during the heyday of the Malacca Sultanate and the Ming Dynasty and have flourished since.
Malaysia and China has set the example by establishing first ever diplomatic relations in the region on trust and respect basis, Mahathir said.
The text of the Prime Minister’s speech was read by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi at the opening ceremony of the Malaysia-China Culture and Tourism 2020. “There is a close resemblance between the culture and economy of the two countries”, Mahathir said.
“For the record, in 1971, Malaysia-China bilateral trade amounted to US $ 159 million and that number increased nearly 700 times to US $ 108 billion in 2018,” he said.
The Malaysian prime minister said that the program coinciding with the Visit Malaysia Year 2020, made it even more meaningful, sharing with the audience the aspects of multi-racial life that enabled the country to celebrate the existence of multiculturalism.
“May this year represents the reaffirmation of friendship and cooperation between Malaysia-China and step forward,” he said.
Meanwhile, Li Keqiang in his speech delivered China’s Vice Minister of Tourism and Culture, Zhang Xu, hoping that the Cultural and Tourism Year program would serve as a platform to foster cultural exchange and tourism cooperation.
“We hope to continue this traditional friendship based on increased understanding and lay a strong social foundation for a comprehensive strategic partnership for China-Malaysia,” he said.