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Backgrounder: Basic facts about Malaysia

04-29-2011 10:48 BJT Special Report:Chinese Premier Visits Malaysia, Indonesia |

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao left Beijing Wednesday morning for an official visit to Malaysia at the invitation of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

The following are some basic facts about the country:

Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and has a total landmass of about 330,000 square kilometers. It is separated by the South China Sea into two major regions -- West Malaysia and East Malaysia. West Malaysia, also referred as Peninsular Malaysia, lies in the southern part of the Malay Penisula.

According to government statistics, Malaysia had a population of 7.73 million in 2008. Malays make up 68.7 percent of the population, 23.2 percent are of Chinese descent, and those of Indian descent account for 6.9 percent.

Malaysia's state religion is Islam, while Buddism, Hinduism and Christianity are also practised in the country. Malay is Malaysia's national language and English and Chinese are also widely used in the country.

Malaysia's economy heavily relied on agriculture in the past, but it has been advocating an export-oriented economy since an adjustment of the industrial structure in late 1970s.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city, with a population of over 1.5 million. The Petronas Twin Towers, 452 meters high in Kuala Lumpur's city center, is the landmark building of the city as well as the country.

China and Malaysia established the diplomatic ties in 1974. In 2010, bilateral trade between China and Malaysia reached 74.2 billion U.S.dollars, an increase of 42.8 percent against the previous year.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: Xinhua

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