KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 (NNN-Bernama) — Malaysia and China underscored the need for peace to be restored in Myanmar as well as the fostering of a collective development agenda for the country, said Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
The minister, who is on a two-day official visit to China beginning Thursday at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, said China can work together with ASEAN to play a significant and constructive role to restore democracy in Myanmar, which will be meaningful not only for the country but to the entire region.
“We appreciate China’s recognition of ASEAN’s role and initiatives on this front to lower tensions, stop the violence, and avoid a further escalation of the situation on the ground,” he said at a joint press conference held with Wang Yi in Fujian, China on Thursday.
Myanmar’s military launched a coup on the morning of Feb 1, hours before the Parliament was set to sit, and had detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Anti-coup protesters took to the streets and the crackdown on protesters by the junta raised global concern after more than 500 protesters lost their lives, with the worst bloodshed so far recorded last Saturday where more than 114 people died.
On the South China Sea issue, Hishammuddin, who is on his first official visit to the republic since assuming office as a minister on March 10, 2020, said Malaysia reaffirmed its commitments to pursue dialogues among the parties concerned, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international laws.
“We both (Malaysia and China) agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region,” he said.
On ASEAN, Hishammuddin said both countries welcomed the activities prepared for the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations in 2021 and added that both sides will continue to work closely on the cooperation between China and all ASEAN member states.
The foreign minister said Malaysia is willing to work with China to continue to promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to bring more benefits to the people of the two countries in the post-epidemic period.
He said over the past year, Malaysia and China have witnessed remarkable progress in their relations, “providing opportunity to reaffirm our common aspiration to further strengthen our cooperation.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the People’s Republic of China on behalf of His Majesty the Malaysian King Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah) and the Prime Minister (Muhyiddin Yassin) and the people of Malaysia for the generous contributions and kind assistance rendered to us in our times of need during this pandemic.
“The substantial contributions, and health experts sent, have greatly assisted Malaysia in facing the most serious public health challenge of our generation,” he said, adding this clearly reflects the true friendship between Malaysia and China.