The number of Sabahans going to China for holiday and business has increased tremendously, said Consul-General of China in Kota Kinabalu Liang Caide.
"Last year, the Consulate General issued over 25,000 visas" disclosed Liang.
At the same time, he said Chinese companies have shown interest in Sabah to set up offices and participate in major local projects.
"In the New Year, both China-Malaysia cooperation and China-Sabah cooperation will see new opportunities and will progress to new levels" said Liang during the Consulate General's Chinese New Year reception at Hakka Hall on Friday.
"China's â€˜Two Centenary Goal' is highly compatible with Malaysia's 2050 National Transformation Plan. The Belt and Road Initiative promoted by China can be fully coordinated with the Sabah Development Corridor plan.
"Owing to the complementary advantages of the two sides, the prospect of cooperation is broad" said Liang. He believes Sabah target of wooing one million visitors as set by Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman is achievable in the near future.
He said this is possible due to the rapid cooperation and exchanges between China and Sabah-Labuan in various fields.
"Last year, some 430,000 Chinese tourists had visited Sabah and the number of direct flights between Kota Kinabalu and the cities in China had increased to nearly one hundred per week.
"This had greatly boosted the development of tourism and other related industries in Sabah" said Liang. China-Malaysia relations, which is currently at the best time in history, have entered a fast lane of maturity, stability and all-round development, said Liang.
The Consulate General will also continue to devote itself to promoting the China-Malaysia relations and the China-Sabah win-win cooperation to benefit the people of both places.
He added that he was pleased to hear that the China-Malaysia friendship has gained new achievements at the beginning of 2018.
"Giant pandas from China Liang Liang and Xing Xing gave birth to the second cub in Malaysia, which is a good sign and a good start for the relations between the two countries this year" he said.
Chinese had made great contributions to the economic development and social harmony of Sabah, as well as the friendship between China and Malaysia, Liang asserted.