Former Malaysian Chinese Association(MCA) President and Former Minister of Transport Ong Tee Keat visited the Pangoal Institution
Former Malaysian Chinese Association(MCA) President and Former Minister of Transport Ong Tee Keat visited the Pangoal Institution

On the morning of December 29th, the former President of MCA and the former Minister of Transport of Malaysia, Ong Tee Keat, visited the Pangoal Institution.  Ong held a symposium on “The Belt and Road Initiative” and “ the Cooperation between Think Tanks between China and Malaysia” with President of the Pangoal Institution, Yi Peng, Senior Research Fellow of the Pangoal Institution and Senior Commentator of China Radio International, Xu Qinyu, Deputy Secretary-General of the Pangoal Institution, Wang Yue, Deputy Director of the Southeast Asian Studies Center of Xijing University, Ren Changjiang, and researchers Feng Qinghua and Hao Cheng.


China is Malaysia's largest trading partner while Malaysia is China's largest importer in ASEAN.  The two countries established diplomatic relations on May 31, 1974, since when the bilateral relations have developed rapidly.  In 2004, the leaders of the two countries reached consensus on developing strategic cooperation between China and Malaysia, and a comprehensive strategic partnership was established in 2013. In August 2018, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir visited China, which was his first visit to non-ASEAN countries after he re-elected as Prime Minister of Malaysia, greatly fostering the bilateral relations.  Ong Tee Keat is one of the most senior politicians in the Malaysian Chinese community.  He once served as the Minister of Transport of Malaysia and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons of the Malaysian Parliament during Mahathir’s previous administration.  Currently, Ong is committed to promoting Malaysian enterprises and institutions to cooperate with China under the framework of “the Belt and Road Initiative.”


At the beginning of the symposium, President Yi Peng, on behalf of the Pangoal Institution, first expressed his welcome to Ong Tee Keat.  He pointed out that the Southeast-Asia region is one paramount research section of the Pangoal Institution, and a corresponding research center has been established.  Besides, the Sino-Malaysia relationship has a long history and the Chinese take up 22% of the whole Malaysian population.  Therefore, Yi claimed that with Malaysia’s potential to become an international exchange platform, it is more possible for more exchanges between the think tanks in the two sides, conducive to more people-to-people diplomacy.   Ong strongly agreed with Yi’s standpoint and said it is essential for such diplomacy to promote the mutual understanding, at a civic level, in both countries.  Therefore, we should focus on developing our soft power and enhance cultural exchanges.  Additionally, Ong also emphasized the importance of deepening and implementing the results of bilateral dialogue.  Both Yi and Ong agreed that it is rather essential to further increase the cooperation of “the Belt and Road Initiative" and bilateral relations through the joint efforts of think tanks in China and Malaysia.  


As one representative of the Chinese folk think tank, the Pangoal Institution attaches great importance to Southeast Asian studies and has set up a Southeast Asian research center to communicate with experts within different realms in Southeast Asia.  On May 30, 2018, Xu Qingqi, the former Director of People’s Justice Party Central Research Office, visited the Pangoal Institution and exchanged ideas with Pangoal’s scholars on promoting the Sino-Malaysia infrastructure project and corporate cooperation under “the Belt and Road Initiative.”  On September 26, Ms. Chen Shuxin, Deputy Director of the Singapore Embassy in China, also visited the Pangoal Institution to exchange views with Pangoal’s scholars on Sino-Singapore relations and the situations in Southeast Asia.  At the same time, the Pangoal Institution will hold a mechanism meeting “China-Singapore Think Tank Forum” per year with The S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies of Nanyang Technological University, which has been held for three years and has received enthusiastic responses.





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