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Malaysia never feels being bullied by China: Malaysian official

Source:   Time:

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia has never felt being bullied by China, a Malaysian official stressed Tuesday.

Malaysia is comfortable with the Malaysia-China relationship, and will continue to engage China in a positive way, Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said after meeting his U.S. counterpart Robert Gates.

He also said that China is a traditional friendly nation of Malaysia, and it is crucial for both countries to maintain such warm relationship.

China and Malaysia established diplomatic ties in 1974. When Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak took office in 2009, he picked China as the first foreign country to visit outside ASEAN.

Ahmad Zahid quoted Najib as saying that Malaysia and China needed each other, and China's attitude towards Malaysia has been very positive.

Meanwhile, Gates said that the military ties between the U.S. and Malaysia would be strengthened by increasing the number of joint military exercises and training between the two countries.

He also commended Malaysia for assigning medical team to the war-torn Afghanistan, recognizing also Malaysia's contribution in keeping world peace.

Gates said the countries involved should solve the territorial disputes in the South China Sea through diplomatic means.

While raising the level of mutual trust, the countries should also ensure free passage in the waters.

Gates arrived in Malaysia Tuesday afternoon. Before meeting Ahmad Zahid, Gates met Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who stood in for Najib who is recovering from sickness.

In June this year, Ahmad Zahid visited Washington in the U.S..

According to a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia, Gates reaffirmed the commitment of the U.S. to engagement with Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region.

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