"Belt and Road" initiative to help revive Malacca: senior official.
KUALA LUMPUR (CyHAN)- China's "Belt and Road" initiative is expected to help revive the Malaysian state of Malacca, a major trade port in the history of the country that once attracted merchants from China and India, the chief minister of the state has said.
"I hope the 'Belt and Road' initiative would bring back the prosperity Malacca used to enjoy," Idris Haron, the chief minister, told Xinhua on Wednesday, two days before leaders of Southeast Asian countries and the world's major economies meet here for the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
The chief minister said he sees from the "Belt and Road" initiative, proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, the desire of the Chinese "to the spirit to prosper the neighbors."
Malacca, located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula and next to the Straits of Malacca, played a critical role in sea transportation historically and geographically, he said.
It is also well known by most Chinese mainly for the legend of Zheng He, a great navigator and diplomat of China's Ming Dynasty who commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia and East Africa from 1405 to 1433.
The influx of an increasing number of Chinese tourists has helped the development in the state, and the chief minister also pinned hope for the faster development on the cooperation with China's Guangdong province.
Idris Haron said his state and Guangdong province signed a memorandum of understanding to enhance friendly and cooperative relations in September, which paves the way for bilateral cooperation in land reclamation, agriculture, knowledge-sharing in trade and investment and tourism, among others.
"We have a lot of things we can exchange, especially in culture and tourism," Idris Haron said, adding that the cooperation between Malacca and Guangdong under the "Belt and Road" initiative is promising because "Malacca people are as productive as our friends in Guangdong." (Cihan/Xinhua) CyHAN
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