China is a challenging friend, but not a threat, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said on Friday.
"China is a challenge. China is a friend. China is part of us," Badawi, who is attending the World Economic Conference in Davos, said at a news conference.
It is wrong to see emerging China as a threat, he added.
Badawi noted that the East Asia Summit, recently held in Cebu, central Philippines, was an important platform for the cooperation between China and the members of ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"We want to be part of the East Asia process," he said.
Besides the annual east Asia Summit started in 2005, leaders from the 10 ASEAN members and the three East Asian countries, namely China, Japan and South Korea, also met on regular basis under the ASEAN plus three (10+3) framework.
With these two forums, it was sufficient for us "to leverage on them to do what we can for the stability and prosperity of east Asia," Badawi said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 27, 2007)