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Malaysian Prime Minister Datoâ€™ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razakâ€™s recent six-day trip to China revives a long tradition of Malay-Chinese co-operation stretching all the way back to the Melaka Sultanate. During the early fifteenth century, three of Melakaâ€™s Sultans travelled to China in person, where they vied with other nations to forge a special relationship with the Middle Kingdom. As a result, Melaka became Chinaâ€™s closest ally, ultimately acting as a base for all Chinese activity in the Nusantara. It was largely because of this close co-operation and the immense wealth that it generated, that Melaka subsequently became the Nusantaraâ€™s first great Islamic power, able to disseminate Islam throughout the region.
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