KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The Malaysian government is committed to strengthening Malaysia-China relations with closer and more meaningful cooperation, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said as the two countries will mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties .
In a message to a souvenir book by the Malaysia-China Friendship Association (PPMC) to mark the anniversary of diplomatic ties, Mahathir said trade and investment growth between both countries had been meteoric, reported state news agency Bernama on Sunday.
Despite relations might be more between governments initially, Mahathir said bilateral ties had scaled numerous levels and chalked up milestones, and China had become Malaysia's biggest trade partner today.
The bilateral ties have developed with the partnership between the two countries remaining constant over the years thanks to their adherence to the principle of non-interference in each other's internal affairs and striving to be good neighbors, said the prime minister.
"I have always believed in the principle of 'prosper thy neighbor' and as China prospered, it has in turn prospered Malaysia as well," he added.
On the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, Mahathir said Malaysia had taken the position of supporting it as the benefits were mutually shared and distributed, and for Malaysia it was a continuation of the ancient trade and trading between both countries had never diminished for centuries.
Proposed by China in 2013, the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative aims to build a trade and infrastructure network that will link Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.
He also paid tribute to the roles played by various associations and organizations to promoting relations between Malaysia and China.
"Our cooperation has grown at various levels and sectors. I believe apart from the roles played by government and political leaders, the various associations and non-governmental organizations from both nations, including PPMC, have contributed much to the strong and positive state of affairs enjoyed by both our countries," he said.
China and Malaysia established diplomatic relations on May 31, 1974.