Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi takes an interview with Xinhua News Agency in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 19, 2014. Facing changing political and security situation in the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to create a feeling of friendship among different countries, Badawi said here Thursday. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)
By Zhao Bochao
KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Xinhua)-- Facing changing political and security situation in the Asia-Pacific region, it is important to create a feeling of friendship among different countries, former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said here Thursday.
Although there are some problems and arguments on many issues among the countries in this region, "We must remind ourselves that we should work together and cooperate with each other for the prosperity we desired," Badawi said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. "All the ASEAN members and the plus three countries including China ... we are all together,"he added.
The former prime minister would travel to Beijing to attend the third World Peace Forum to be held from June 21 to 22. He said they would discuss global issues during the forum, including the issue of South China Sea.
As to the territorial disputes between China and some ASEAN countries in the South China Sea, Badawi said the solution depends on the parties concerned. "We must remember whatever the decision they want to make must not go into the kind of conflicts that will bring about unhappiness in this area or create some other issues which will not be good on cooperation. We must make sure and remind ourselves that we are friends in one big area,"the former prime minister said.
Speaking of his views on the concept of constructing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Badawi said it had positive effects on promoting peace, stability and friendship in the region.
The year of 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. He said the past 40 years had witnessed continuous development of trust and cooperation between the two countries.
The late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia's second prime minister and father of the current Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, was the first Malaysian leader who visited China with the wish to develop relations between the two countries, he said, adding that it was he and the then Chinese leaders who established bilateral diplomatic relations.
Badawi recalled that in 1991, the then Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen visited Malaysia at his invitation and met with leaders of other ASEAN nations in Kuala Lumpur. "Through the visit, I believe there was some kind of friendship developed between Malaysia and China,"he said.