Malaysia, China reaffirm commitment to foster stronger bilateral relations amid Covid-19 pandemic | Malaysia

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Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein in a meeting with his counterpart from China, Wang Yi (left) at a bilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Malaysia and China in Kuala Lumpur, October 13, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 — Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his counterpart from China, Wang Yi, reaffirmed a broad consensus on several issues of importance following bilateral meetings held here today.

In a joint press statement, both ministers reiterated their commitment to foster the vital relations that both countries have built on the basis of equality and mutual respect and win-win cooperation, reflecting on the strong historical links and 46 years of diplomatic relations binding both nations.

Both ministers also underscored the importance of strengthening international unity, solidarity and collective efforts to address and overcome challenges effectively, in view of the current unprecedented challenges face by the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

They called for concerted and collaborative efforts by the international community, led by the World Health Organisation, to stand in solidarity in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, Hishammuddin and Wang were also pleased with, and appreciative of, the Covid-19-related mutual support and assistance that have developed between Malaysia and China over the course of the pandemic.

“In enhancing the Malaysia-China collaboration to better address Covid-19 during the pandemic and post-pandemic periods, both sides agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and establish a High-Level Committee on Malaysia-China Post Pandemic Cooperation.

“The MoU and High-Level Committee, which is chaired by the two Foreign Ministers, will promote pragmatic cooperation in addressing post-pandemic challenges, as well as cooperation in various other fields such as social, economic and scientific fields. In this regard, both sides looked forward to sign the Memorandum of Understanding at the earliest opportunity,” it said.

On the development and procurement of the Covid-19 vaccines, it said Malaysia welcomed the commitment by China to provide China-developed vaccines, once available, as a “global public good”  accessible and affordable to neighbouring countries.

China also stated that it will provide Covid-19 vaccines, once successfully developed and registered in China, to Malaysia as a priority recipient while both foreign ministers looked forward to the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation in Vaccine Development and Accessibility by both governments, it said.

Acknowledging that the pandemic has sparked not only a health crisis, but also an economic crisis, and together, pose a serious threat to food security, both sides had  agreed to join hands with other like-minded countries to work towards securing lifelines for transportation of food supplies, support the work of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other United Nations agencies dedicated to enhancing food security, and address food security vulnerability and build collective resilience through coordinated strategic steps.

The statement said both ministers had also agreed to continue discussions to facilitate cross border essential official and business travels between the two countries by establishing travel bubble for reciprocal arrangement with effective health control measures in place.

It said such arrangement is imperative to revitalising bilateral trade and investment cooperation in order to accelerate economic growth at the national and regional levels while both sides also agreed to explore further cooperation for the establishment of green lane in ensuring stability and security of industrial and supply chains.

The statement said both ministers also agreed to further advance high-quality and mutually beneficial cooperation under the ambit of the Belt and Road Initiative. — Bernama

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