By Riyaz ul Khaliq and Islamuddin Sajid
ISTANBUL, Türkiye/ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - China’s President Xi Jinping separately met the prime ministers of Malaysia and Singapore on Friday and discusses bilateral, regional and international issues with a focus on Asian "independence.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and his counterpart, Lee Hsien Loong, were in Beijing to meet Xi after attending the Boao Forum for Asia on the island province of Hainan.
Separate readouts of the Anwar-Xi and Xi-Loong meetings pointed to the Chinese president mentioning the “strategic independence” and “development path featuring independence” adopted by the Asian region.
“China is ready to work with Malaysia to promote Asian civilizations, uphold strategic independence, firmly reject Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, and jointly build and care for our common home,” Xi told Anwar, according to China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
Beijing and Kuala Lumpur will be marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2024.
“The two sides agreed to build a China-Malaysia community with a shared future. This will open a new chapter in bilateral relations,” said Hua.
While Xi and Anwar discussed trade and economic relations, the Malaysian premier said he also touched on the Chinese government’s efforts to confront and unravel the problem of poverty in China “which is now bearing fruit when almost 800 million people have been freed from the shackles of poverty.”
According to Hua, Xi told the Singaporean premier: “The Asian region has blazed a development path featuring independence, mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, openness, inclusion and win-win cooperation with Asian characteristics.”
“In a world with fast-evolving major changes unseen in a century, we need to value and defend the hard-won development momentum, firmly reject hegemony and bullying, and not allow any country to deprive Asian people of the right to pursue a better life,” Xi told Loong.
Xi also met Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.