KOTA KINABALU: As the state is experiencing an influx of Chinese tourists, the number of Sabahans going to China has also increased tremendously.
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide, said more and more people from Sabah-Labuan went to China for business, family visits and sightseeing.
“Last year, the Consulate General issued over 25,000 visas,” Liang said at the Consul-General’s Chinese New Year reception at Hakka Hall on Friday.
He revealed that more and more Chinese companies have shown interest in Sabah by setting up offices and participating in major local projects here.
“In the New Year, both China-Malaysia cooperation and China-Sabah cooperation will see new opportunities and will progress to new levels.
“China’s ‘Two Centenary Goal’ is highly compatible with Malaysia’s 2050 National Transformation plan. The Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China can be fully coordinated with the Sabah Development Corridor plan.
“Owing to the complementary advantages of the two sides, the prospect of cooperation is broad,” Liang further asserted.
Liang also believes that Sabah may very well achieve its goal of having one million visitors coming to the state in the near future.
He said this was possible due to the rapid cooperation and exchanges between China and Sabah-Labuan in various fields, which had ultimately led to the close relationship among the people of the two places.
“Last year, some 430,000 Chinese tourists visited Sabah and the number of direct flights between Kota Kinabalu and the cities in China had increased to nearly one hundred per week.
“This has greatly boosted the development of tourism and other related industries in Sabah,” Liang said at his Consul-General’s Chinese New Year reception at Hakka Hall on Friday.
“I believe, in the very near future, the goal of reaching one million Chinese tourists coming to Sabah, as set by the Chief Minister (Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman) will soon be realized,” he added.
China-Malaysia relation, which is at the best time in history, has entered a fast lane of maturity, stability and all-round development, Liang said.
The Consulate General will also continue to devote itself to promoting the China-Malaysia relation and the China-Sabah win-win cooperation to benefit the people of both places.
He added that he was pleased to hear that the China-Malaysia friendship had gained new achievements at the beginning of 2018.
“Giant pandas from China Liang Liang and Xing Xing gave birth to the second cub in Malaysia, which a good sign and a good start for relations between the two countries this year,” he said.
Chinese had made great contributions to the economic development and social harmony of Sabah, as well as the friendship between China and Malaysia, Liang said.
Among those present at the event were Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman and other state leaders.