|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia in Beijing, capital of China, May 31, 2014. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also attended the celebration on Saturday. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak attended a grand ceremony in Beijing Saturday marking the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
Addressing the occasion, Li said Malaysia was the first among ASEAN countries to forge diplomatic ties with China, which unveiled a new chapter in the history of China-Malaysia and China-ASEAN relations.
He hailed the all-round stable growth of bilateral cooperation over the past 40 years, citing strengthened political trust and personnel exchanges, and trade volume over 100 billion US dollars.
China is ready to work closely with Malaysia to cement strategic trust, expand win-win cooperation and cultural exchanges as well as regional cooperation, to jointly benefit the two peoples and build a brighter future for Asia, Li said.
He also vowed joint efforts with Malaysia in search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370, and properly settle the aftermath.
On May 31 of 1974, Najib's father, then Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, signed a Joint Communique with then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during the former's historic visit to China, launching a new era for bilateral ties. ' Najib said Malaysia expects to facilitate exchanges and cooperation with China in all areas, to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability and promote common prosperity.
Malaysia was deeply saddened by the MH370 incident, he said, expressing gratitude for China's help and vowing to keep on search and rescue operation.
Following the reception, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and Najib addressed a trade forum, urging to further expand bilateral trade cooperation.
Wang called on to expand bilateral trade scale, investment and agricultural cooperation, facilitate regional economic integration and the building of the 21st century maritime Silk Road.
In a joint communique issued by the two countries on Saturday, both countries expressed their respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Malaysia reiterated its firm adherence to the one-China policy, and recognized that the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole lawful government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory, said the communique.
Malaysia supported peaceful development of cross-Strait relations and China's peaceful reunification, it said.
Both countries pledged to build stronger all-round strategic partnership, enhance dialogues on their macro-economic policies, and step up cooperation in such areas as trade, finance, architectural design, waste and water treatment, port development and logistics, railway, banking, healthcare, agriculture and education.
They also vowed to enhance cooperation on inspection and quarantine of bird's nest, and strengthen palm oil exports from Malaysia to China, collaborate in promoting green rubber materials in China and its quality testing, according to the communique.
China sent a pair of giant pandas to Malaysia on May 21 to strengthen bilateral cooperation on scientific research.
Both sides also agreed to further intensify cooperation in agriculture and quarantine inspection, focusing on crops plantation, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, animal and plant diseases prevention, said the communique.
China agreed to study expanded import of Malaysia's jackfruit, pineapple and other tropical fruits, as well as to expedite the inspection and registration of Malaysian dairy producers, it said.
The two countries expressed their commitment for closer military exchanges and cooperation in global affairs.
Both sides agreed to work together to deepen China-ASEAN cooperation, and welcomed the initiatives proposed by Chinese and ASEAN leaders including the establishment of the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, said the communique.
They agreed to jointly hold the ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercise in Malaysia from Feb. 1-6 next year.
Concerning the issue regarding the South China Sea, both sides emphasized that all sovereign states directly concerned shall exercise self-restraint and settle their differences by peaceful means and friendly consultations and negotiations, and in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, said the communique.
"Intervention or involvement of parties not directly concerned could be counter-productive and further complicate the aforementioned differences," it said.
The two countries vowed joint efforts with other ASEAN member states to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and ensure progress of consultations for the conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on consensus.
Invited by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Najib Razak is on a six-day official visit to China from May 27 to June 1.
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