China, Malaysia To Develop Maritime Training Hub in Malaysia

December 4, 2014

Malaysia is planning to develop a maritime training hub for the ASEAN region, with input from China, reports the China Daily yesterday.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that "The governments of Malaysia and China are discussing the mechanism of the collaboration, including the hosting of regional programs." He made his comment after meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Chuantang, on the sidelines of the 20th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting in Mandalay, Myanmar.

He said China had in the past provided technical assistance and numerous capacity-building programs to ASEAN, particularly in the training of seafarers. Liow also welcomed the establishment of the Silk Road Economy Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, said China Daily. He said the Silk Road initiative would strengthen connectivity and support economic growth and trade activities in the region.

Liow said he and Yang also discussed the ongoing underwater search operations for MH370, the missing Malaysian airliner, thanking China for its assistance in the search. Xi Jinping, after announcing the Maritime Silk Road plan in Indonesia in October 2013, stopped in Malaysia, where he and Dr. Mahathir Mohammad announced the founding of the Zheng He Association, named after the 14-15th Century Chinese Admiral of the great Treasure Ships which laid the path for the Maritime Silk Road, then and today, through the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and the east coast of Africa.