ZHEJIANG (China), Dec. 5 — China is planning to allow international students, including those from Malaysia, to return to the country to resume their studies, said Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the matter was among those discussed in the inaugural meeting of the Malaysia-China High-Level Committee on post-COVID-19 cooperation co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
According to Saifuddin, priority will be given to final year students and those who need to use laboratory facilities for fields of study involving research that cannot be done online.
“He (Wang Yi) stated that they have a list of countries of students studying in China and he informed me that Malaysia is among the highest on the list.”
“He (Wang Yi) did not say when the (the process of return of) students can start, but from what he told me, they want the matter to be implemented as soon as possible,” he told the Malaysian media on Saturday.
Saifuddin said there were about 8,000 Malaysian students studying in China, but they had to return home when COVID-19 began to spread in the country last year.
He said Malaysia is currently still waiting for the Chinese government’s announcement on the conditions and processes regarding the return of students to their respective universities.
As most of them are private students without sponsors, he said the ministry will work with Malaysian alumni with information on the students.
“Since they have formed a network, so I offer help to facilitate the relationship with Malaysian students who are waiting to return to study in China,” he said.
According to Saifuddin, the students are pursuing various fields of study including science and technology, language, and traditional medicine.
Apart from that, he said there are more than 100 Malaysian students who are still in China at this time.
Saifuddin is on a two-day official visit to China starting Friday, at the invitation of Wang Yi.