Li, Mahathir hail tourism plans


BEIJING: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Malaysian counterpart, Mahathir Mohamad, sent congratulatory messages respectively to the opening ceremony of 2020 China-Malaysia Year of Culture and Tourism, which was held in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. In his message, Li said China and Malaysia are neighbors across the sea, and the two sides have enjoyed a traditional friendship for thousands of years. Chinese navigator from the Ming Dynasty Zheng He set out seven times for the expeditions to Western Seas, during which he docked his massive fleet in Malacca five times and forged a profound friendship with the locals, Li said, adding that it has become a much-told story in the history of China-Malaysia exchanges. Li said that the ChinaMalaysia relationship has maintained a healthy and stable development in recent years, and the two countries have enjoyed close cooperation bilaterally and within such multilateral frameworks as the ChinaASEAN cooperation, which have promoted the respective development of the two countries and brought new momentum to regional prosperity and stability. The Chinese premier said he hopes the two sides can take the Year of Culture and Tourism as an opportunity to expand cultural interactions, deepen tourism cooperation, and boost personnel exchanges, so as to promote mutual understanding between the two peoples, continue to write new chapters of bilateral friendship, and further consolidate the foundation of public and social support for the development of the China-Malaysia comprehensive strategic partnership. In Mahathir’s message, noting that Malaysia and China share a long history of relations, he said he believes that the Year of Culture and Tourism will lead to new progress in bilateral relations and friendship. Mahathir said he wishes the two peoples happiness and well-being in the Year of the Rat, and that bilateral relations and cooperation will keep moving forward. – The Daily Mail-Global Times News exchange item