Joint Press Statement by Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and
State Councilor and Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China Wang Yi
2020/10/13

13 October 2020, Kuala Lumpur

1. At the invitation of the Honourable Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, His Excellency Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, undertook his official visit to Malaysia from 12 to 13 October 2020. During the visit, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi held bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and called on the Honourable Prime Minister Tan Sri Dato' Haji Muhyiddin Haji Mohd. Yassin via video link. Both sides had in-depth exchanges of views pertaining to various bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest in a cordial and candid manner, reflecting the close, comprehensive and active relations between Malaysia and the People's Republic of China.

2. Reflecting on the strong historical links and 46 years of diplomatic relations that bind both nations, both Ministers reiterated their commitment to fostering the vital relations on the basis of equality and mutual respect and win-win cooperation. Both Ministers reaffirmed a broad consensus on several issues of importance to the two strategic partners.

3. As the world is currently facing the unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a global public health emergency that does not discriminate, both Ministers underscored the importance of strengthening international unity, solidarity and collective efforts to address and overcome these challenges effectively. They called for concerted and collaborative efforts by the international community, led by the World Health Organization, to stand in solidarity in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Both Ministers were pleased with and appreciative of the COVID-19 related mutual support and assistance that have developed between Malaysia and China over the course of the pandemic. In enhancing the Malaysia-China collaboration to better address COVID-19 during the pandemic and post-pandemic periods, both sides agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding and establish a High-Level Committee on Malaysia-China Post Pandemic Cooperation. The Memorandum of Understanding and High-Level Committee which is chaired by the two Foreign Ministers, will promote pragmatic cooperation in addressing post pandemic challenges, as well as cooperation in various other fields such as social, economic and scientific fields. In this regard, both sides looked forward to sign the Memorandum of Understanding at the earliest opportunity.

5. Reflecting on the importance of development and procurement of the urgently needed COVID-19 vaccines, Malaysia welcomed the commitment by China to provide China-developed vaccines, once available, as a "global public good" accessible and affordable to neighboring countries. In this regard, China stated that it will provide COVID-19 vaccines, once successfully developed and registered in China, to Malaysia as a priority recipient. Both Ministers further agreed that China will support and encourage its enterprises to establish all-round cooperation with Malaysian partners in vaccine research and development (R&D) and deployment. The two Foreign Ministers looked forward to the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in Vaccine Development and Accessibility by both governments.

6. Both Ministers strongly felt that resumption of linkages between Malaysia and China during the pandemic are vital to recovery efforts being undertaken by the two countries. In this regard, both sides agreed to continue discussions to facilitate cross border essential business and official travels between the two countries by establishing travel bubble for reciprocal arrangement with effective health control measures in place. Such arrangement is imperative to revitalizing bilateral trade and investment cooperation in order to accelerate economic growth at the national and regional levels. Both sides also agreed to explore further cooperation for the establishment of green lane in ensuring stability and security of industrial and supply chains.

7. Both Ministers acknowledged that COVID-19 has sparked not only a health crisis, but also an economic crisis, and together these crises pose a serious threat to food security. Governments have the solemn duty of ensuring food security for their own peoples and for the global citizenry. In this spirit, both sides agreed to join hands with other like-minded countries to work towards securing lifelines for transportation of food supplies, support the work of the FAO and other UN agencies dedicated to enhancing food security, and address food security vulnerability and build collective resilience through coordinated strategic steps.

8. Both Ministers agreed to further advance high-quality and mutually beneficial cooperation under the ambit of the Belt and Road Initiative. Both sides will earnestly 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, by expediting the discussion on the framework and the implementation of the cooperation plans. Both sides would encourage more projects to be enlisted under this initiative as the reflection of the close and warm partnership and mutual trust between Malaysia and China.

9. Both Ministers are pleased with the current bilateral trade and economic relations. Both sides will actively discuss the formulation of the Second Cycle of the Five-year Program for Economic and Trade Cooperation for the period of 2021 – 2025. Both sides welcomed the investments in each other's country in line with the spirits of equality, mutual respect and mutual benefit. The two sides also encouraged greater collaboration and technology transfer in high value investment segments such as chemicals, electrical and electronics (E&E), machinery and equipment (M&E), aerospace, healthcare (including medical devices and telemedicine), ICT, data analytics, design and development, robotics, internet of things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and sectors which support the industrial development.

10. Both Ministers are encouraged with the progress of the "Two Countries, Twin Parks" namely, China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) and Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and are working towards closer cooperation through the CMQIP and MCKIP Joint Cooperation Council (JCC) to attract more investments into the parks.

11. Both Ministers agreed to intensify with cooperation in agriculture, livestock and fishery, as well as in emerging areas like e-commerce, internet economy, science and technology as well as innovation. China and Malaysia will strive to boost trade volume, promote financial stability through bilateral and regional cooperation, improve the business environment and support cooperation among SMEs and service institutions. Malaysia welcomed China's acceleration of the construction of a new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other and would like to work together with China in this development.

12. Both Ministers acknowledged the significance and importance of the trade in commodities, especially that of palm oil. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in promoting sustainability requirements for palm oil products which adhered to the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) and the Green Food label. China agreed to encourage its enterprises to increase import of sustainably produced palm oil and other Malaysian products in accordance with market rules. Both sides also agreed to explore opportunities in engaging trilateral cooperation using Malaysian palm oil and palm oil-based products.

13. Both Ministers acknowledged the importance of the tourism industry in promoting greater people-to-people contact and sustainable socio-economic growth, and in fostering mutual understanding between the two countries. The two sides agreed to strengthen, deepen and broaden cooperation in this area. Both sides reviewed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the China-Malaysia Year of Culture and Tourism in 2020, and agreed to galvanize their efforts to promote tourism and exchanges of people between the two countries once the situation permits.

14. The two Ministers recalled the establishment of dialogue relations between ASEAN and China in Malaysia in 1991 and looked forward to the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations in 2021. Both sides spoke highly of the development of ASEAN-China relations and pledged to work together to further strengthen this partnership. Both sides agreed to forge closer relations as outlined in the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision 2030, as well as in other mutually agreed areas of cooperation and looked forward to a continued cooperation under the newly proposed Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity (2021-2025). Both sides also welcomed the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and looked forward to the signing of the RCEP in 2020.

15. On the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), both sides looked forward to the implementation of the Plan of Action for BIMP-EAGA China Cooperation 2020-2025 in all 9 priority areas of collaboration which will bring tangible benefits to our people.

16. Both sides underscored the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, as well as freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea. Both sides emphasized the need for sovereign states directly concerned to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes through friendly consultations and negotiations, in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Both sides further emphasized the need for all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes in the South China Sea. Both sides agreed to enhance dialogue on maritime affairs and promote practical maritime cooperation. Both sides, together with the ASEAN Member States, will work for the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and encourage maritime cooperation, as well as intensify substantive progress towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC).

17. Noting that 2020 was the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, both sides reiterated their firm commitment to the principles of multilateralism. They shared the view that cooperation on multilateral affairs constitutes an important part of their comprehensive strategic partnership. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation at the United Nations and other multilateral fora, enhance South-South cooperation, safeguard the interests of developing countries and promote the building of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. China will firmly support Malaysia in hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2020 meetings, to build consensus on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery. China introduced the Global Initiative on Data Security. Both countries agreed that the most effective way to address the challenges of digital security is a cooperative approach anchored on a multilateral platform accessible to all countries. Both sides stand ready to work together to promote the growth of digital economy and advance global digital governance. 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, balanced and win-win economic globalization that benefits all.

18. Both sides expressed their satisfaction with the outcomes of this visit, and agreed that it was imperative to resume face-to-face discussions and intensify cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era. His Excellency Wang Yi expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and generous hospitality accorded to him and the Chinese delegation by the government and people of Malaysia. His Excellency Wang Yi extended an invitation to the Honourable Dato' Seri Hishammuddin to visit China at a mutually-convenient time. The Honourable Dato' Seri Hishammuddin readily and sincerely accepted his invitation with pleasure.

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