Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) shakes hands with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia, Oct. 4, 2013. Xi Jinping held talks with Najib Razak here on Friday. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak agreed on Friday to upgrade bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
During their talks, the two leaders spoke highly of the achievements made in cooperation between the two countries and exchanged views on advancing bilateral ties under the new circumstances.
They both agreed to lift bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Noting that Malaysia is the first country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to forge diplomatic ties with China, Xi stressed the importance of China-Malaysia ties.
"China highly values its relationship with Malaysia, which is taking the lead in China's relations with ASEAN members," Xi said, urging the two sides to enhance strategic cooperation to make their relationship a fine example in the region.
To that end, Xi put forward a five-point proposal.
First, leaders of the two countries should keep the good tradition of frequent mutual visits, increase communication on major issues and strengthen top-level design of bilateral relations, said Xi.
The two countries should also enhance party-to-party exchanges and share experience on governance and policy-making.
Second, the two sides should expand economic and trade cooperation in line with their respective development strategies, aiming for 160 billion U.S. dollars in bilateral trade by 2017.
China has been Malaysia's biggest trading partner for the last four years, while Malaysia has been China's largest in the 10-member ASEAN for five years in a row.
Two-way trade soared to a record high of 94.8 billion dollars last year, while trade in the first seven months of 2013 jumped 14.9 percent to 59.72 billion dollars.
The Qinzhou Industrial Park in China and the Kuantan Industrial Park in Malaysia, noted Xi, should be built as flagship projects of investment cooperation between the two countries.
Beijing encourages Chinese enterprises to participate in the development of northern Malaysia and the high-speed railway construction linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which will promote regional inter-connectivity, said Xi.
Third, the two sides should tighten cooperation in telecommunication, remote sensing satellite and biological technology, said Xi.
Fourth, China and Malaysia must make full use of the defense and security consultation mechanism, increase exchanges between the two militaries, deepen law-enforcement cooperation, and join hands in combating terrorism and trans-border crimes.
Fifth, China and Malaysia should expand sub-national cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, said Xi, urging the two sides to work out plans for celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2014, which has been designated as the "China-Malaysia Friendship Year."
On regional cooperation, Xi called on China and ASEAN members to deepen cooperation, push forward regional economic integration and create favorable conditions for development.
For his part, Najib said his country hopes to enhance the comprehensive strategic partnership with China.
"China is a trustworthy friend of Malaysia," he said. "Our bilateral relations enjoy vast prospects."
The Malaysian prime minister said his country is ready to maintain communications with China at all levels, expand two-way trade, promote mutual investment, and welcome Chinese enterprises in its infrastructure construction.
It is also ready to deepen cooperation with China in military, technology, law-enforcement, education, tourism and culture and increase people-to-people exchanges.
Malaysia supports China's proposal of building an Asian infrastructure investment bank and will consider participation in it, said Najib.
Malaysia also stands ready to advance the development of ASEAN-China relations and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region, he said.
After the meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements and jointly met the press.
"China supports ASEAN's leading status in East Asia cooperation, and is happy to see Malaysia play a bigger role in the region," Xi told reporters.
Xi arrived here Thursday evening for a state visit to Malaysia, the second leg of his maiden trip to Southeast Asia since taking office in March.
From Malaysia, the Chinese president will travel to the Indonesian resort island of Bali for the 21st informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.