DPM Ahmad Zahid to visit China from May 22 to June 1

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will make an official visit to China from May 22 to June 1 at the invitation of Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang.

In a statement Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry announced that this marks Ahmad Zahid's first official visit to China since he assumed the role of Deputy Prime Minister in December 2022.

Wisma Putra said Ahmad Zahid, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin.

"During his visit, the Deputy Prime Minister is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Premier Li Qiang.

"In order to further intensify bilateral relations, he is expected to explore opportunities of cooperation, particularly in the field of education, with a focus on technical and vocational education and training (TVET), halal industry development as well as people-to-people exchanges. Both sides will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern and interest," it said.

According to Wisma Putra, Ahmad Zahid will also hold discussions with Xuexiang and State Councillor and Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong while he is in Beijing.

To mark the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-PRC diplomatic ties, the Deputy Prime Minister will host a Gala Reception and grace the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Establishment of Malaysia-China Diplomatic Relations, jointly organised by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Embassy of Malaysia in Beijing, it added.

Additionally, the Deputy Prime Minister will also witness the signing of memorandums of understanding between Malaysian and Chinese companies in the fields of high technology and education, as well as engage with the Malaysian community in China.

Wisma Putra also said Ahmad Zahid will meet with Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in Hong Kong.

This official visit is part of the exchange of high-level visits lined up for the year to commemorate the 50th year of diplomatic ties, it said.

Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein made history by being the first Asean leader to establish formal diplomatic relations with China by signing a joint communique with Premier Chou En-lai on May 31, 1974.

This bold step laid the foundation for a strong partnership, which was later elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) in 2013, that has served both countries well.

For fifteen consecutive years since 2009, China has been Malaysia's largest trading partner globally.

In 2023, total trade with China was valued at RM450.84bil (US$98.80bil), contributing 17.1% of Malaysia's global trade.

In 2023, a total of 64 manufacturing projects were approved, with investments totalling RM12bil (US$2.6bil).

China ranked as the fifth largest investor and these projects are expected to create 9,305 jobs. – Bernama

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