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Chinese Premier Visits Malacca to Send Message of Peace amid U.S. Meddling in South China Sea
   2015-11-23 08:23:49    Xinhua      Web Editor: Tiantian

FUTURE CARRIED BY NEW INITIATIVE

The premier, who also met with the Malacca governor and inspected a miniature of an industrial park, did not come here only to recall the past glory.

Malacca, located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, not only plays a critical role in China-Malaysia friendship since ancient times, but also stands at a key point along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

In an early step to put the initiative into action, the Malacca State established a friendly partnership with South China's Guangdong Province in September, and the industrial park is a major project currently under construction by companies from both sides.

Listening attentively to the introduction about the industrial park, Li said he is pleased to know that Malacca has worked out detailed planning for the project and launched a series of preferential policies.

"The industrial park, with distinct geographical advantages and vast development prospects, will not only stimulate the local economy, but also boost a cluster of industries and promote practical cooperation between China and Malaysia," Li said.

The park was associated with the grand Malacca Gateway project. After China put forward the Belt and Road Initiative, which also comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt, the Malaysian government has decided to expand it as an active response to the proposal.

The project, covering more than 610 acres with two man-made islands and a natural one, was originally planned to comprise a cruise ship port, a service department, hotels and theme parks to invigorate the tourism and service industries.

After the expansion, it will turn into a center of tourism, logistics and high-tech marine industries, with a deep sea port, a ship yard and a duty-free trade zone added to the construction list.

More than 300,000 ships pass through Malacca every year, but due to a lack of related facilities, these ships have to wait for a long time to be served, which shows the urgency to build a new seaport terminal, Idris Haron, chief minister of Malacca State, once explained.

Haron said he had met more than 50 delegations, most of which came from Guangdong, since he took office about two and a half years ago, and he had visited China for at least seven times for the purpose of promoting cooperation.

The Chinese premier, who will hold talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday, said he hopes that what is going on in Malacca serves as an example for future bilateral cooperation and for the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative among Southeast Asian countries.

The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, covering a population of 4.4 billion people, will connect markets along its route and produce enormous economic potential.

"I hope the initiative will bring more markets and jobs to the local people and enterprises in Malacca," Haron said.

That is exactly what it is meant to do.

"China's development will first benefit its neighbors, including Malaysia, and I expect that everyone can seize the opportunity to contribute to the friendship and common development between China and ASEAN nations," Li said.


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