HANGZHOU: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has arrived here to begin his five-day official visit to China as the seventh Malaysian Prime Minister.
He landed at Hangzhou Xiaoshan Internation Airport and walked out of the plane at 9.05pm on Friday (Aug 17).
He was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
The Malaysian Prime Minister was greeted by Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Zhainuddin Yahya, among others.
On Saturday (Aug 18), Dr Mahathir will be visiting the Alibaba Group headquarters here in Hangzhou, which is the hometown of its co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.
He will also visit the headquarters of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which owns a 49.9% stake in Proton.
Dr Mahathir will also be having a dialogue session with the Proton staff based at the Chinese company before heading to Beijing later in the day.
Bernama reports that Dr Mahathir is making an official visit to China once again as prime minister after a 17-year gap, having made his last official trip to this country in October 2001.
During his first tenure as prime minister, from 1981 to 2003, Dr Mahathir visited China seven times, and nine more times after he retired.
In the Chinese capital on Sunday (Aug 19), the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Da Jiang Innovations, one of the world's largest manufacturers of drones, attend a dialogue with the Malaysian and Chinese business community, and meet with members of the Malaysian diaspora.
Dr Mahathir is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as Premier Li Keqiang on Monday (Aug 20), adds Bernama.
On the final day of the visit Tuesday (Aug 21), Dr Mahathir will head to the National Agricultural Science and Technology Innovation Park.