Malaysia’s special envoy says overseas Chinese community could help boost Belt and Road Initiative

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Malaysia’s special envoy to China said on Saturday that the large overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asian nations could help promote the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Addressing the World Chinese Economic Forum, Tan Kok Wai, who is Malaysia’s special envoy to China and head of the Malaysia-China Business Council, said the community’s strong roots and multi-cultural background would help boost the initiative.

Citing Malaysia, Tan said, “Malaysian Chinese grow in a multiracial, multi-religious and multicultural environment where at least three languages – Malays, English and Chinese as well as other dialects are spoken in our daily life,” he said.

“Hence we are in a prominent position in collaboration with China in terms of the language and cultural exchange,” he added.

Tan said data from Malaysian Registrar of Societies showed about 10,000 Chinese societies registered in Malaysia which provided the community with a wide degree of diversification and internationalization.

“These societies vigorously enhance the exchange and cooperation and the economic and trade development between Malaysia and China as well as strengthening the bond of the people of both countries.”

Tan reiterated the government of Malaysia would vigorously support, cooperate and participate in the Belt and Road Initiative to contribute to the mutual prosperity and growth among the region, especially in current global political and economic climate.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is a tremendous strategy of cooperation and mutual benefit, and will contribute enormous positivity to global peaceful development. Only cooperation and mutual benefits would pave the way for success in the long run,” he said.

Proposed by China in 2013, the initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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