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Chinese president calls for closer cooperation with Malaysia
2013/10/04

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping called Friday for efforts to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Malaysia.

Xi said China-Malaysia economic and trade cooperation will benefit not only the two countries but also the whole region.

He proposed that the two countries boost bilateral trade, increase investment, step up cooperation in the sectors of finance, agriculture and fishery, and jointly improve regional cooperation.

Xi made the remarks while addressing the China-Malaysia Economic Summit, which was attended by more than 1,000 businessmen and government officials from the two countries.

The Chinese president said that the mutually beneficial cooperation has been furthered since the two countries established diplomatic relations 39 years ago.

China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner for four consecutive years, while Malaysia has been China's largest in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for five years in a row.

Although Asia remains the most dynamic region with the greatest potential in the world, Asian countries face arduous tasks to develop economy and improve people's livelihood, Xi said, adding that the deep impact of the international financial crisis has not ended.

He called on Asian countries to focus on development and carry forward the Asia spirit of unity, cooperation and pulling together in times of trouble, so as to safeguard long-term stability and development in Asia.

In his speech at the summit, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak hailed the development of Malaysia-China relations.

"The bonds between our nationals were forged in the past, but grow stronger in the present," Najib said, adding that by committing themselves to further cooperation in pursuit of common goals, the two countries can drive development and progress not just in themselves, but in the region and the wider world.

"China's dream and Asia's promise can be fulfilled together in an age marked by prosperity and stability in equal measure," he added.

The prime minister said more should be done to deepen and promote monetary cooperation and encourage investment.

Malaysia welcomes technical collaboration with Chinese automotive companies, and looks forward to new areas of cooperation, he said.

China and Malaysia saw bilateral relations gain momentum in recent years. In 2012, two-way trade soared to a record high of 94.8 billion U.S. dollars, nearly a quarter of China's total with ASEAN.

During a meeting earlier Friday, Xi and Najib agreed to lift bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

Xi is in Malaysia for a state visit, the second leg of his maiden trip to Southeast Asia since he assumed presidency in March.

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