KUALA LUMPUR - It has been 39 years since the late Tun Abdul Razak played a crucial role in establishing diplomatic ties with China.
And in all the years since, even after the former Prime Minister's passing, the Chinese government has maintained a cordial relationship with his widow Tun Rahah Mohd Noah and her family.
Through its embassy here, China has invited Rahah to its functions and to the ambassadors' official residence and even called on her - all in appreciation of her husband's mammoth contributions in bringing the two countries closer.
Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Chai Xi said it had always been a custom for the Chinese to remember the good deeds done for them.
"My predecessor gave me special instructions to send well-wishes and pay visits to Tun Rahah.
"I will tell my colleague the same thing when he takes over office from me," he said.
Among the notable occasions he cited was when the Chinese government invited Rahah, and others in her family, to join her son Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his official visit to China in 2009.
During the former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Malaysia in 2011, Rahah attended a welcoming dinner for him.
"Najib is very touched by the friendly gestures of the Chinese government," he said.
"He said that this was something which had not been done by other countries, except China," Chai said.
Yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a dinner hosted by Najib and his family, including Rahah, at Seri Perdana for the president after his arrival for a three-day state visit here.