Johari Abdul set for first Beijing visit

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul. - Filepic/The Star

Aiming to boost Malaysia-China ties, trip to cover several key areas

KUALA LUMPUR: Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul is set to have his first official visit to Beijing from Sept 25 to 28, aimed at boosting ties ahead of next year’s 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China.

The trip was imperative as both countries will also be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Malaysia-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership next year, he said.

“We want to catapult this relationship further in the areas of socio-economics, youth development and effective regional dialogue,” he said in an interview yesterday.

Malaysia established diplomatic ties with China in 1974 and was the first Asean country to do so.Johari said he would have a bilateral meeting in Beijing with his counterpart, China’s 14th National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee chairman Zhao Leji, and Wang Huning, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

“This is my first visit as the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat upon the invitation of Zhao following a bilateral meeting that we had on May 18 here in Kuala Lumpur,” said Johari.

One of the highlights of his trip will be engaging in a multilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Additionally, he will have the opportunity to attend the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou.

“The Parliament of Malaysia is taking on this mantle in boosting Malaysia-China relations within the legislative framework.

“We want to engage in discussions regarding environmental sustainability with China.

“We are also exploring discussions in the fields of renewable energy, food security and artificial intelligence.

“And we look forward to learning more from China to perpetuate the exchange of technology, expertise and knowledge,” he explained.

Johari is also scheduled to attend a public lecture titled “Asean-China in the Asian Age” at Tsinghua University.

He will be visiting several major Chinese companies in the fields of AI, renewable energy and food security.

On Sept 17, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had invited Xi and Premier Li Qiang for an official visit to Malaysia to mark the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations next year.

China remains Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years, with a total trade of US$110.6bil last year, up 15.6% from 2021.

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