China and Malaysia to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations in the Coming Year.
Malaysia has extended an invitation to China’s President Xi Jinping to visit, according to the Malaysian ambassador to Beijing. The invitation comes as Malaysia endeavors to increase the influx of Chinese tourists to five million annually, contributing to economic growth.
The upcoming year marks the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. In a move mirroring Thailand, Malaysia recently announced a visa-free travel initiative allowing Chinese tourists a 30-day stay. Government data reveals that Malaysia welcomed 498,540 Chinese tourists in the first half of this year, representing nearly one-third of pre-pandemic levels. In comparison, Thailand anticipates approximately 3.4-3.5 million visitors from China in the current year.
Malaysian Ambassador Norman Muhamad expressed confidence in the country’s capacity to accommodate more tourists, emphasizing that the goal of attracting five million Chinese visitors annually is achievable, even if it may take a few years. He highlighted the reciprocal benefits, stating that visa-free travel would not only boost tourism but also facilitate Chinese investors exploring opportunities in Malaysia.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia has extended an invitation to President Xi Jinping to visit the country, reflecting the strong diplomatic ties between the two nations. Ambassador Norman Muhamad expressed hope that President Xi would accept the invitation.
The economic growth of Malaysia is poised to meet the government’s 4% target this year, with the tourism sector playing a significant role in driving this growth. The ambassador emphasized the synergy between the tourism initiative and attracting Chinese investments, envisioning a positive impact on Malaysia’s economic landscape.
Notably, recent photographs released by the Chinese foreign ministry depict a handshake between China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Malaysian counterpart Zambry Abdul Kadir in New York, signaling diplomatic cooperation between the two nations.