Commemorative Medallion Of Malaysia-China Friendship 1972
Malaysia and China celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2014.
AS the president of the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia, Tan Sri Michael Chen was invited to become a member of the Malaysian delegation to the first Asia-Latin America ping-pong tournament in 1972.
Michael Chen as the secretary-general of the Alliance and also MCA vice-president, he met Tun Abdul Razak Hussein often. At one of these meetings, he briefed the then Prime Minister about the trip.

Reverse.1972. Friendship
Tun Abdul Razak subsequently tasked Chen to find out if China would be keen to establish diplomatic relations and gave him a letter, written in his capacity as president of the Malaysian Olympic Council, to Zhou Enlai. Zhou “responded very well” and arranged for Chen to meet his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chen Yi. 
Obverse.Weight:10.52gm. Diameter: 31.00mm
“It was just like a courting process,” recalls Chen, now 81. “Both sides felt like the chemistry was there.” On his return, he reported to Razak that China appeared to be willing to normalise relations.
Plain Edge
But it was not until 1974 that official ties began and Razak made his historic visit.
In 1973, Razak had asked Chen to investigate the delay in the courtship. Chen met the Xinhua news agency representative over dinner in Hong Kong. During the meal, he took care to sip Chinese tea while his hosts downed maotai wine so that he could stay alert. With his legal training, Chen realised the problem was a constitutional snag. “Neither country recognised dual citizenship,” Chen says.
According to China’s Constitution, if overseas Chinese did not become citizens of the country where they lived, they would be considered Chinese citizens.
Malaysia had 300,000 Chinese citizens with red identity cards, Chen explains. Razak was not willing for them to be considered Chinese citizens and hoped they would become Malaysians.
The only solution was to set up diplomatic ties first, with an embassy in both countries, and let the 300,000 decide by themselves whether to register at the Chinese embassy as citizens or remain to become Malaysians.
Obverse. Weight: 8.50gm. Diameter: 30.00mm. Thickness: 1.80mm
Reverse. RM1.00. Composition: Nordic Gold.
Within a fortnight, both sides had agreed and Razak received an invitation from Zhou to visit China in early 1974. Chen was part of the delegation and felt a sense of “missio­n accomplished”.
Source: Star Online


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