Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has arrived in Malaysia for two days of talks that are expected to focus on economic cooperation and a thorny territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
Mr. Wen will travel later this week to Indonesia.
During a pre-visit interview with reporters from the two countries, Mr. Wen called for nations with competing claims to resources in the South China Sea to work together and develop them jointly. He said that is in the interest of peace in the region.
But he repeated China's longstanding position that overlapping claims should be dealt with on a bilateral basis. Several countries, including the United States, argued at a security forum last year for a multilateral approach to disputes over the Spratly islands, which are claimed in whole or part by China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.
Mr. Wei also said in the interview that he would use the trip to discuss Chinese infrastructure investments in the two countries. These include a bridge in Malaysia and a paper mill on Borneo. China's official Xinhua news agency said he will also sign agreements designed to consolidate cooperation in trade and finance.