KOTA KINABALU: Ranau district and Longmen County of Huizhou City, Guangdong Province, China recently became friendship districts, following the signing of a memorandum on Oct 10.
The memorandum was signed in an elaborate ceremony held in Tiequan International Conference Centre at Longmen Hotspring Tourist Resort, in Longmen County, Huizhou City.
This historical ceremony marked the beginning of future cooperation between the two regions in the fields of economy and trade, technology and arts, culture and education, agriculture and livestock husbandry, tourism etc.
It undeniably also marked a significant milestone in the Sino-Malaysian bilateral relationship, especially towards promoting a greater economy and trade cooperation between Malaysia and China, in line with the two nations’ continuous pursuit of harmonious co-existence in this increasingly challenging world.
The memorandum was jointly signed by Ranau District Officer Faimin Kamin and Longmen County chief Lin Hung, witnessed by dignitaries from Sabah and Longmen County such as Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, Xu Zhihui, secretary of Longmen County Party Committee cum director of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of Longmen County, and Datuk Tham Yuk Leong, president of Ranau District Hakka Association cum councillor of Ranau District Council.
The signing of the memorandum was a result of a proposal made by Tham on Dec 13, 2010, after having facilitated the signing of the memorandum on the establishment of friendship cities between Kota Kinabalu City and Heyuan City of Guangdong Province, China.
The memorandum was facilitated by Tham in his capacity as president of the Welfare Organisation of Heyuan Malaysia, and its signing ceremony was held in Heyuan City where it was jointly signed by the former mayor of Kota Kinabalu City, Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim and mayor of Heyuan City, Liu Xiaohua.
The signing of the friendship districts was based on the principles set by the Sino-Malaysia bilateral relations, Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the China International Friendship Cities Association after thorough discussion between the two parties.
To ensure smooth cooperation and exchange in targeted areas of economy and trade, tourism, culture, education etc, both parties decided to establish direct communication and carry out future bilateral programmes and activities beneficial to the people through the Foreign Affairs Office of Longmen County and Ranau District Office.