Malaysia and China to explore joint military collaborations to combat extremism

PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) - Malaysia is ready to discuss further possibilities of military collaborations with China to tackle the threats of extremism, terrorism, kidnappings and other crimes, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Wednesday (May 25).

Relevant ministers, senior officials and agencies will further explore the details of such future collaborations, the PMO said in a statement.

Other areas of defence and military practical cooperation, such as exchange of intelligence and the formation of a secured communication link, may be further explored, it added, in response to security challenges in the Asia Pacific region such as the threat of Islamic State and food security.

"Malaysia believes positive discussions and collaborations with China as well as other Asean countries in these areas will further safeguard the mutual interests of all parties in the region," the statement said.

"Malaysia is confident that through constructive joint dialogue between Asean countries and China, all parties will achieve a mutually beneficial long-term solution with respect to the South China Sea for the stability and prosperity of the region."

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak received on Wednesday a high-level Chinese delegation led by President Xi Jinping's Special Envoy, Meng Jianzhu, who heads the Political and Legislative Affairs Committee of the CPC Central Committee.

The statement said that China also expressed its sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister for Malaysia's cooperation on anti-terrorism and international crime including the recent phone scam affecting many Chinese citizens.

"The excellent cooperation between the defence and military establishments of Malaysia and China has been further strengthened via the elevation of bilateral relations to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. This cooperation includes exchanges of high-level visits and meetings, and joint exercises," the statement said.

The statement added that Najib also expressed appreciation of President Xi's One Belt, One Road strategy and its importance in creating economic and cultural integration.

On this, Malaysia stands ready to explore the possibility of working together with China and Thailand to conduct a swift feasibility study to consider the development of the Kuala Lumpur-Bangkok High Speed Rail and East Coast Rail Link to enhance connectivity and tourism for Malaysia and Thailand.

In addition, Malaysia also welcomes China as a partner to jointly develop long-term tourism infrastructure and property related investments in Malaysia.