High

KUALA LUMPUR: A high-level Malaysia-China defence committee will be set up, says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

“Malaysia and China also have to organise more frequent exchange visits in future to improve communication, understanding, and also to further strengthen the trust,” he said.

He added that the committee would identify more practical and structured defence cooperation, and said that he has instructed Malaysian Army chief General Datuk Seri Zulkiple Kassim and Royal Malaysian Air Force chief Gen Datuk Seri Affendi Buang to hold further discussions on defence cooperation.

Hishamuddin said in a statement on Sunday that this was the outcome of his meeting with China’s defence minister General Chang Wanquan during his three-day official visit to China which began on Friday.

He said various topics were discussed during the meetings, focussing on threats brought by the spread of terrorist ideologies, especially from the Islamic State.

“Both countries also agreed on the need to give serious attention to the global security landscape which is fast changing and becoming more challenging,” said Hishammuddin.

“We also looked into the role that should be played by both countries in ensuring that peace and stability in the South China Sea is preserved,” he added.

During the official visit, Hishammuddin also met China’s central military commission vice-chairman General Xu Qiliang, state councillor of the state council Yang Jiechi and minister of public security Guo Shengkun.

During the visit, Hishammuddin also witnessed the signing of a contract between Boustead Naval Shipyard Sdn Bhd (BNSSB) and China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Co. Ltd (CSOC) on the building of four littoral mission ships (LMS) for the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Hishammuddin also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM) and Peking University.

On the LMS, Hishamuddin said that this is the first time Malaysia is buying defence assets from China.

“The first two ships will be built in China. The expertise and the cost – which is lower in China – will be used by BNSSB to build the remaining two ships in Malaysia,” said Hishammuddin. – Bernama.

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