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UPDATED: 11:12, July 24, 2004
Malaysia bars ministers from making visits to Taiwan
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Malaysia has further strengthened its one-China policy by barring its ministers from making visits to Taiwan.

The cabinet had told all ministers to abide by the policy and not to make official visit to Taiwan as "it could offend sentiments of the Chinese government," Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak told reporters after meeting vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission Guo Boxiong at the Defense Ministry.

Guo is heading a 15-member delegation on a one-day visit to Malaysia.

Malaysia-Taiwan relations were confined to economic and cultural matters, he said.

Najib, who is also Defense Minister, said Guo had said that Beijing wanted countries it had diplomatic ties to adhere to the one-China policy.

"We have indeed fully adopted the one-China policy," he said.

During the meeting, Guo said he was satisfied with Malaysia's stance and spoke highly of the close and all-round relations between Malaysia and China.

Guo had also expressed confidence that the friendship and cooperations between the two countries and two armies would further expand in all fields.

Malaysia is the first country in 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations to establish diplomatic ties with China in 1974. Since then, the bilateral relations have been progressed steadily.

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