It is unavoidable that issues will surface in the process of cooperation between China and Malaysia, and the two countries will also explore plans for future cooperation under the China-proposed Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.
The comments came after a Financial Times report saying that "Malaysia has cancelled three China-backed pipeline projects, including two oil and gas pipelines in mainland Malaysia and the island of Borneo, and a $795 million pipeline. All were suspended in July," citing Lim Guan Eng, Malaysian finance minister.
While the East Coast Rail Link - the flagship plan of the B&R Initiative in Malaysia - has not been cancelled, it is being reviewed, the report noted.
"It's normal that problems might emerge in the China-Malaysia trade cooperation. China has always upheld the principles of reciprocity and mutual benefit in cooperating with different countries in trade and investment, which is also the important consensus reached by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad during his visit to China last month," Geng Shuang, the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs told a regular press conference.
Prime Minister Mahathir also highly praised the B&R Initiative during his visit, saying that the Initiative has promoted regional exchanges and benefited all countries in the region. He said that Malaysia will support and is willing to continue to actively participate in the Initiative, Geng said.
China and Malaysia have been maintaining friendly consultations on relevant cooperation projects, Geng said.
"The two countries have also signed an agreement to further discuss cooperation under the B&R Initiative," Geng noted.
"Trade cooperation between China and Malaysia has been maintained in a growing momentum and has brought real benefits for people in the two countries. Malaysia is also among one of the earliest countries that support and participate in the B&R Initiative," Geng said.