23rd November 2015 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China
On the afternoon of November 22 local time, Premier Li Keqiang went to Malacca by car more than one hour after wrapping up his attendance at the series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation, starting the first stop of his official visit to Malaysia. Li Keqiang's wife Mme. Cheng Hong accompanied him during the visit.
Malacca has deep connections with China. Ancient Chinese navigator Zheng He (Cheng Ho) made seven voyages to the Western seas, and for five times he stopped at Malacca, leaving plenty of historical relics and touching stories about friendly exchanges with the local place. In recent years, friendly cooperation between Malacca and Chinese provinces and cities such as Guangdong Province has been making progress, with great potential for bilateral cooperation in fields like maritime economy, culture and tourism.
Malacca demonstrated its welcome for the distinguished Chinese guests with both Chinese and Malaysian national flags in a dozen of kilometers along the way. When Premier Li Keqiang and Mme. Cheng Hong arrived, Governor of Malacca Tun Mohd Khalil bin Yaakob and his wife, and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and his wife greeted them warmly and talked with them kindly.
Later, Li Keqiang and his delegation visited the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum. When the motorcade arrived at the ancient and prosperous alley, owners of the shops on both sides hung up banners voluntarily to welcome the Chinese premier, and people on the street waved and cheered to them warmly. Inside the museum, a large number of exhibits such as boats and chinaware were shown, with vivid scenes and lifelike character models, showing lively the spectacular scenes of Zheng He's maritime expeditions, as well as the vivid pictures in which he spread advanced production technology in areas including agriculture, fishery, and textile industry to the local people.
Li Keqiang expressed that China and Malaysia are friendly neighbors across the sea. Over six hundred years ago, Zheng He's fleet arrived with peace and friendship, conducted mutually beneficial exchanges of business and culture, and also helped the locals to maintain peace and tranquility, serving as an emissary of peaceful exchanges, mutual benefits and friendship. This remark stroke a strong chord among those present.
Li Keqiang communicated warmly with representatives of the local people, and presented them with the Malaysian-version of Chinese classic Journey to the West first published on that day. When meeting with old friends acquainted during his visit to Malaysia 19 years ago, Li Keqiang was quite pleasant. He talked with them warmly, learned about their recent lives, and praised their contributions to promoting China-Malaysia friendship. Both new and old friends were gathering together. Li Keqiang said that his current visit in Malacca made him feel that the story of Zheng He has already been deeply rooted in the local people's hearts. What Zheng He spread was the seed of peace and friendship, while the fruit is harmony and inclusiveness. We should carry forward the spirit and concept advocating peace on the top of other things, harmony in diversity and inclusiveness.
With the company of Governor Tun Mohd Khalil bin Yaakob, Li Keqiang also listened to introduction of the project of Malacca seaside industrial park. At present, Guangdong Province is actively dovetailing development planning with Malacca, and making preparations to build a modern seaside industrial park integrating maritime high-tech industries, deep-water wharf and logistics centers. Li Keqiang inquired in detail about the project design and the actual process, overlooked the Strait of Malacca and learned about the local government's planning and needs for the port construction. He expressed that Malacca enjoys an advantageous geographical position, while Chinese enterprises boast international competitiveness in infrastructure construction and other sectors. The Chinese government is willing to offer strong support for mutually beneficial cooperation between Chinese and Malaysian local places, and encourages Chinese enterprises to take part in the construction of the industrial park.
In the sand table was the blueprint of hundreds of vessels competing for the advancement, with green waves of the Strait of Malacca glittering brightly. The historical channel and modern busy shipping indicate that China-Malaysia peaceful and friendly cooperation passed downed to this date will certainly enjoy longer voyage in the future.