Zahid arrives in Beijing, last stop in official China trip

BEIJING: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, is on his first official visit to China since being appointed as Deputy Prime Minister in December 2022. He is visiting at the invitation of China's Vice-Premier Ding Xuexiang. Malaysia and China established diplomatic relations on May 31, 1974, and this is the highest level of visits involving top leaders in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of China-Malaysia ties. Also present Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Muhamad Alamin (second, right).- fotoBERNAMA (2024) COPYRIGHT RESERVED

BEIJING: Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi arrived here on Tuesday (May 28), marking the final stop of his official visit to China, which began on May 22 and will conclude on Saturday (June 1).

Accompanied by his wife, Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, was welcomed by Malaysia's Ambassador to China, Datuk Norman Muhamad, at about 4.30pm local time.

This visit is Ahmad Zahid's first official trip to China since assuming the role of deputy prime minister in December 2022, made at the invitation of China's vice-premier Ding Xuexiang.

Ahmad Zahid arrived in the Chinese capital after kicking off his visit in Hong Kong on May 22, followed by Shenzhen the next day and Shanghai from last Saturday until Monday (May 27).

During his stay in Beijing, he is scheduled to pay a courtesy call to Chinese Premier Li Qiang and hold discussions with Ding and State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Wang Xiaohong.

Ahmad Zahid will also host a gala reception and attend the 50th-anniversary celebration of the establishment of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations, co-organised by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.

During his visit to Shanghai on Monday, he witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements between Mara Corporation and two major Chinese companies, which aim to explore new business ventures, particularly in renewable energy, electric vehicle (EV) bus repair and maintenance and solar energy storage and batteries.

Ahmad Zahid, who also chairs the National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Committee, attended a luncheon with the Malaysian community and students in Shanghai on Sunday (May 26).

He also visited Huawei's headquarters and attended a dinner with the Malaysian community and students in Shenzhen during his visit to the region. In Hong Kong, he paid a courtesy call to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) chief executive John Lee Ka-chiu.

Ahmad Zahid is accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Mohamad Alamin on the 11-day official visit.

According to a statement from Wisma Putra, Ahmad Zahid's official visit aims to strengthen bilateral relations, focusing on exploring cooperation opportunities in education, particularly TVET, the development of the halal industry and people-to-people exchanges.

Malaysia and China established official bilateral relations on May 31, 1974. The visit is part of the exchange of high-level visits lined up for the year to commemorate the 50th year of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations.

In 2023, trade between Malaysia and China reached RM450.84bil (US$98.80bil), accounting for 17.1 per cent of Malaysia's global trade.

During the same year, 64 manufacturing projects with investments totalling RM12bil (US$2.6bil) were approved.

China ranks as the fifth largest investor in Malaysia, with these projects expected to create 9,305 job opportunities.- Bernama

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