China's Premier Li Qiang departs for home after three-day visit to Malaysia

SEPANG: China’s Premier Li Qiang departed for home on Thursday after concluding a three-day official visit to Malaysia.

Li was given a red carpet ceremonial send-off and a guard-of-honour by the First Battalion of the Royal Ranger Regiment (Ceremonial), led by Captain Nur Ahmad Zaim Zahari.

The Air China flight carrying Li and his delegation departed from the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here at 2.15pm.

Also present were Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Malaysia’s Ambassador to China Datuk Norman Muhamad and Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Johari Abdul.

Earlier, Li attended a luncheon with the business community from both countries in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by the Investment, Trade and Industry (Miti) and China’s Commerce Ministry (Mofcom).

In his maiden visit to Malaysia after assuming the post in March last year, Li and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim held a closed-door meeting on Wednesday (June 19) to discuss bilateral relations between Malaysia and China. They also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

They also witnessed the signing of 14 memoranda of understanding (MoU) and agreements involving nine Malaysian ministries.

Li also had an audience with His Majesty Sultan Ibrahim, King of Malaysia and attended the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) Gombak Integrated Terminal Station groundbreaking ceremony in Gombak together with Anwar.

The ECRL project, slated for completion in 2026, serves as evidence of the strong bilateral relationship between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

The 665km ECRL starting from Kota Bharu and ending at Port Klang will have 20 stations - 10 for passengers and 10 for freight and passenger transport.

The two leaders attended a dinner in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Malaysia and China and exchanged coffee table books.

Li presented Anwar with the book titled ‘50th Anniversary of China-Malaysia Diplomatic Ties Hand in Hand for Win-Win Cooperation’ while Anwar presented the ‘Ties that Bind’ to the Chinese Premier.

China has been Malaysia’s largest trading partner for 15 consecutive years since 2009. Last year, total trade with China was valued at RM450.84bil (US$98.80bil), contributing to 17.1% of Malaysia’s global trade.

The two countries established diplomatic relations following the signing of the Joint Communiqué by Malaysia's second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and then Chinese Premier Chou En Lai on May 31, 1974. - Bernama

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