KUALA LUMPUR: Asean and China could work together on boosting multilateralism, especially in reforming the United Nations to ensure it remained effective and relevant amidst evolving global dynamics.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, in saying this, stressed that a world order based on multilateralism is vital.

“Such an order would enable sustainable and peaceful co-existence of civilisations that is rules-based, open, inclusive and transparent.”

He said this while speaking in his intervention note at the Asean-China Special Summit.

The event, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Asean-China Dialogue Relations, was held via video conference yesterday.

The summit was chaired by Brunei ruler Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and also attended by China’s President Xi Jinping.

Ismail Sabri said they were encouraged by the constructive tone of Xi and US President Joe Biden’s virtual meeting last week.

“China-US bilateral relations are among the most consequential in the world. While differences remain, Malaysia welcomes recognition of the collective responsibilities that both countries have towards maintaining peace, development and social progress.”

On climate change, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia aspired to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the earliest and welcomed commitments made by China and other parties at the COP26 (2021 UN Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow, Scotland recently.

Ismail Sabri also reiterated Malaysia’s firm position on the South China Sea issue being resolved in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

Malaysia called on all countries to remain committed towards maintaining the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and trade, he added.

In Beijing, Xi hailed the good friendship and win-win cooperation between China and Asean.

China-Asean dialogue relations have gone through an extraordinary journey over the past three decades, he said.

“These 30 years have witnessed intensive development of economic globalisation and profound changes in the international landscape.

“These 30 years have also seen China and Asean seizing the opportunities of the times and achieving leapfrog development in our relations,” Xi added.

China and Asean have cast away the shadow of the Cold War and jointly upheld stability in the region, spearheaded economic integration in East Asia, promoted common development and prosperity, and delivered better lives to over two billion people, said Xi. — Bernama

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