There will be good news for Chinese tourists soon, as the government plans to ease their entry requirements into Malaysia in conjunction with the Visit Malaysia Year 2020.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said that a formal announcement will be out soon and that his Ministry was working closely with the Home Ministry.

“Next year, we will celebrate the year of tourism and culture.

“We’ve seen a steady number of tourists exchanged between us (Malaysia and China).

“I’m pleased to announce that the government of Malaysia is working towards the relaxation of some entry requirements for Chinese tourists.

“We are working closely with the Home Ministry and a formal announcement will be made soon,” he said at the celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Malaysia here on Monday night (May 27).

Also present were China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin, other dignitaries, and guests.

Saifuddin said the relations between Malaysia and China withstood more than four decades of challenges because they were built on the platform of a civilisation-based friendship.

“That’s why the relations between a big country like China and a small country like Malaysia are very unique and we are able to sustain this long history of friendship and collaboration regardless of what happens along the way,” he said.

Saifuddin added that the strong relations between both countries, which forged ties when times were more difficult 45 years ago, were why delicate issues like the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) project could be resolved.

“Our relations are based on a spirit of friendliness, shared benefits, civilisational manpower and this is why we are able to resolve and navigate around issues like the ECRL,” he said.

Both countries were now focusing on industries of the future, especially in robotics and artificial intelligence sector, said Saifuddin, adding that they were looking forward to cooperation in China’s Belt and Road initiative.

“We have reiterated our support for China’s vision of open connectivity and mutual benefit under the Belt and Road initiative.

“Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has also called for Malaysia and China to create a facility for mutual partnerships.

“By working together, both sides shall be able to have greater benefits and contribute towards the development of this region and the rest of the world together,” he said.