MCA will help Malaysia become China's partner in initiatives

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

BEIJING: MCA will play a key role in supporting Malaysia to become one of China's close partners on its Belt and Road initiatives, said party president Liow Tiong Lai.

Liow, who is here for a five-day visit, said the Communist Party of China had expressed its wish to develop programmes for Malaysia to work together with China in a move to further enhance bilateral ties.

"The party's China Economic Cooperation Centre has extended an invitation to MCA to co-orga­nise a seminar on the Belt and Road in China in early July.

"MCA has responded positively to this," he said yesterday.

The Belt and Road is a collective term for the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which are China's ambitious land-based trans-Eurasia and maritime trade routes.

On Friday, Liow led a delegation to meet Liu Yunshan, secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee.

"Liu told us that China is pleased with Malaysia assuming the 2015 chairmanship of ASEAN.

"It hopes Malaysia will lead ASEAN to continue working toget­her with China, especially on the Belt and Road initiatives," he said.

Also in the delegation were Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong and Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

The delegation also had a meeting with Air China Ltd.

Liow, who is also Transport Minister, said the airline had shown an interest to resume the Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route.

"It is now assessing the passenger load.

"A decision will be made in October this year," said Liow, adding that the airline was confident of the market.

He will also meet representatives from China Eastern Airlines and Juneyao Airlines when the delegation visits Shanghai to explore the possibility of launching direct flights between the city and Kuala Lumpur.

During a visit to Tsinghua University yesterday, Liow had proposed working together with the university to offer scholarships for Chinese students studying at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar), and vice versa.

It would promote the exchange of talent between the two countries, he said.