Anwar underlines "Serious" bid to strengthen ties after meeting Wangyi
(Thestar - 4 Oct 2018) BEIJING: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has stood up in defence of China, saying its success as a global superpower has made it the envy of other countries.
He said that because of this, many now view China as a rival.
Anwar also took a swipe at the United States, which is now involved in a trade war with China.
"A country that promoted free trade for hundreds of years has started a trade war," said Anwar, adding that the world had changed and superpowers can no longer bully others.
Anwar was speaking at a Belt and Road Initiative forum on the topic "Malaysian Legal System and the Future of China-Malaysia Relations", held at Renmin University here on Wednesday, Oct 24.
On Malaysia-China bilateral relations, Anwar said both countries could engage in more cooperation, such as in artificial intelligence and robotic technology, besides just infrastructure projects.
"China's growth is legendary – it can be a great partner in development," he said, noting that Malaysia and China could share experience and join hands in training, research work and technology transfers.
Anwar's Beijing visit is seen as many as a move by Malaysia to reconcile with China following Putrajaya's decision to review several major China-linked projects, such as the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) and renegotiation of contract on the China-financed East Coast Rail Link.
Observers noted that Anwar's visit comes at a time when the current relationship between both countries is seen as "delicate."
Anwar also talked about syariah law, saying that the Islamic law was misrepresented by people who propagated violence.
"A vast majority of Muslims, one billion of them, want peace and believed religion is meaningful. There is no sense in being religious if we don't believe in peace," he added.
He emphasised that no country would tolerate violence and extremism.
"We have to be very tough against elements that disrupts society," he said.