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Prime movers: Anwar will be leading a huge trade delegation to China, where the Prime Minister will be holding substantive talks with Li (left) and Xi. --AP

PM to build on close China ties

BEIJING (The Star/ANN) -- It’s an almost devout act undertaken by Malaysia’s prime ministers for about half a century, but this time round there’s an added weight to it.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to China will present an opportunity for him to launch a new cooperative course in the bilateral relationship.
The Prime Minister’s desire to speak directly with the Chinese leadership just four months after assuming office will not just be symbolic, it will be substantive.
Diplomatic officials say this will be a good opportunity for Anwar to have constructive and meaningful dialogue with President Xi Jinping, who recently secured an unprecedented third term as he leads his nation out of the Covid-19 slump.
Malaysia’s unity government head will also meet with the new holder of China’s second highest post, Li Qiang, who as premier is primarily in charge of the economy. “It will not be a visual spectacle or just a TikTok moment as China rolls out the red carpet for Anwar. He carries the huge challenge of building on the already strong business foundation with China.
“With China fully reopening from the pandemic, Malaysia will expect a return of Chinese tourists, students and investors and there will be great expectations on him.”
Anwar will also have a chance to showcase Malaysia’s impressive macroeconomic recovery of late,” said a China watcher based in Kuala Lumpur.
Anwar’s first trip as Prime Minister to the world’s most populous nation is at an opportune time with both nations commemorating an important milestone and preparing for another – the 10th anniversary of the comprehensive strategic partnership signed during Xi’s visit to Malaysia in 2013, and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties to be marked in 2024. The Anwar administration’s China policy will rest heavily on the well-built and solid economic platform, with bilateral trade amassing its highest volume at the end of 2022 at US$203.6bil (RM910.8bil), making the Middle Kingdom Malaysia’s largest trading partner for the 13th year running.
And with that in mind, Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister will mean business with a huge trade delegation in tow.
Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) treasurer Datuk Koong Kin Loong said more than 150 members would participate in a Malaysia-China Business Forum to be attended by the leaders of both sides here.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update March 29, 2023)

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