Sarawak and Yunnan forge closer ties

Abang Johari (fourth right) receiving a delegation from Yunnan Province today. From third right are Cheng, Zong and Yang.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Dec 12: Agriculture, education and infrastructure development have been agreed upon as three key areas for cooperation between Sarawak and Yunnan province in China.

The consensus was reached following a meeting between Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Yunnan Province Executive Vice-Governor Zong GuoYing at the former’s office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here today.

According to the visiting delegation’s spokesperson Foreign Affairs Office deputy director-general Yang Mu, this was the first visit made by Yunnan Province representatives since 2017 when Kuching and Kunming formalised the relationship of being twin or sister cities.

“Today, the executive governor of Yunnan province Mr Zong Guoying exchanged views and (discussed on) future cooperation with Chief Minister of Sarawak.

“The two sides reached a consensus for future cooperation. We are going to cooperate in the areas of agriculture, education, infrastructure in the next step,” Yang told members of the media after the meeting.

As this was the delegation’s first visit, there has yet to be specific projects or investments determined.

“Because this is the first visit for Yunnan, we had a general discussion on how we are going to move forward in the future.”

Yang stressed that as this was only a survey visit by the Yunnan delegation, studies would need to be carried out before they can put forth any cooperation proposal to the Sarawak government.

Yang described the visit as “friendly and candid”, with the Yunnan visitors hoping forge stronger ties under sister cities status.

Also present was the China Consul-General in Kuching Cheng Guangzhong.

Representatives from Sarawak and Yunnan Province signed a few Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of friendship cities.

These MoUs encompassed a Friendship City Agreement between Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) and Dali City; education cooperation between Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Yunnan University as well as literary cooperation between the Sarawak State Library and Yunnan Provincial Library. — DayakDaily