Towards a Common Future: Enhancing New Opportunities in a Changing World (Media Partnership Program)

2018 marks the 44th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. Malaysia was the first ASEAN country to establish diplomatic relations with China, starting a new phase of cooperation between the two countries. Over the past 44 years, China-Malaysia relations have continued to grow and strengthen. China and Malaysia have become strategic partners with high-level mutual trust. Leaders of the two countries have always maintained the general direction of friendship while assessing the situation and complying with the trend. China-Malaysia friendship has always been based on equality and mutual trust between the two governments and people of both countries. Making this new energy and rich potential work for the wellbeing of the people in both countries is the current priority of both governments.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China's Reform and Opening (gaige kaifang), initiated by Deng Xiaoping at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Central Committee in 1978. These economic changes were so far-reaching that Deng described them as part of China's "second revolution." Since then, China has become an economic powerhouse.

This year also marks the return of the World Chinese Economic Forum (WCEF) to Malaysia to celebrate the 44th Anniversary of Malaysia China diplomatic relations. WCEF is also a super connector and bridge for strengthening and building connectivity and business linkages between Southeast Asia, Europe and China.

While it brings together the Chinese diaspora that had played a part in China's move towards a higher value-add and serviceoriented economy, from the Taiwanese engineers who transmitted knowledge from Silicon Valley to China's budding infotech sector, to Singapore's role in bilateral projects such as the Guangzhou Knowledge City. It has also contributed to the rise of the new' diaspora, high-skilled and born in mainland China, who are at the forefront of China's transition to a knowledgeintensive economy. These people are the face of China's new globalization, forging links with foreign economies that are more entwined than a simple export-import relationship.

WCEF 2018 with theme, "Towards a Common Future: Enhancing New Opportunities in a Changing World" is indeed apt and timely. It is in line with the new diaspora, that we should blaze new trails, explore new ideas, motivate people and create new opportunities.