The people's republic of China has been our trusted friend and ally for a long time. We enjoy openness and mutual respect, and our relationship goes beyond diplomatic niceties.
We have been trading with China for more than 2,000 years. China must have been trading with us for over 2,000 years too. The binding force is trust.
Often when comparing China to the West Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad used to say that China never aimed to conquer other nations despite its economic prowess in the past, unlike the Europeans.
When he was prime minister, Dr Mahathir regarded China as a true friend, although Kuala Lumpur's foreign policy then was to remain neutral in geopolitical muscle-flexing between Beijing and Washington.
Malaysians watched in awe as the Communist state developed into a regional economic power. Malaysia was happy because we subscribed to the 'Prosper thy neighbour' policy. China our friend has now transformed into a superpower.
Is China the superpower still a trusted friend of Malaysians. Is it the China that fights corruption with death by firing squad?
Malaysians trusted China because Beijing led by example in the past. We know hardwork, impeccable integrity and good governance led to China's rapid growth into a world power in less than two decades.
We trust integrity and good governance remains China's core values.
Some believe that recent geopolitical manoeuvres in the region could have eroded some of China's long held values. Only Beijing could clarify this negative perception.
Confucius is often quoted to portray the wisdom of the Chinese. We have enjoyed good people to people ties for centuries.
However you flip it, ties with a kleptocrat while betraying a nation in crisis cannot be politics. If it is then that's dirty politics. Certainly such dirty deals and backstabbing cannot be the cornerstone of a superpower in waiting.
China will lose if trust is lost.
We may soon require MOUs with China on how best to combat corruption, abuse of power, theft and treachery.
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