MALACCA, Malaysia, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese diaspora in Malaysia has been reminisced when China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin on Wednesday visited Malacca, Malaysia's oldest state, where the first batch of Chinese was believed to have landed.
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said he admired the diplomatic efforts by the first fleet of Chinese who arrived in Malacca in the 15th century that led to the Chinese culture flourishing in the region.
The first Chinese landed in Malacca were believed to be on the so-called Voyages of Zheng He headed by Admiral Zheng He whose mighty fleet of several hundred ships sailed to the Indian Ocean several times and the Malacca Straits from 1405 to 1433 before heading back to China in the 15th century.
The voyage resulted in a prominent presence of overseas Chinese community today, especially in Southeast Asia, having affinity to China.
Malaysia has about 6.9 million ethnic Chinese, who make up almost a quarter of the country's population.
Jia was greeted by local Chinese community leaders and stepped foot on the ship that Zheng He was believed to have sailed on, a museum dedicated to the admiral and the ethnic Fujian clan hall in the Unesco-declared World Heritage City in downtown Malacca.
"China has grown to become a powerful country and the world's second largest economy but it prioritizes peace and friendship with its allies," Jia said during the visit.
He urged overseas Chinese to work towards preserving their roots.
Jia was in Malaysia after attending Cambodian late King Norodom Sihanouk's funeral.
He leaves Malaysia on Thursday.
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