PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier LI Qiang during his official visit to China beginning March 29.
Both local government development minister Ng Kor Ming and science, technology and innovation minister Chang Lih Kang confirmed this during an interview with Sin Chew Daily.
Nga said Anwar will first fly into Hainan to attend the Boao Forum for Asia on March 30, before continuing his visit to Beijing until April 1.
Other than Xi Jinping and Li Qiang, Anwar will also meet Zhao Leji, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.
Nga said 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of Malaysia-China comprehensive strategic partnership, while next year will be the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
As such, he said Anwar is expected to invite Xi to visit Malaysia next year.
Besides delivering a keynote address at the Boao Forum for Asia, Anwar will also speak to students at Tsinghua University.
The prime minister will also meet the leaders of China Islamic Association in conjunction with the Muslim fasting month.
Meanwhile, Chang Lih Kang told Sin Chew Daily the main objective of PM Anwar’s visit to China is to strengthen bilateral cooperation in trade.
“China is our largest trading partner, and I personally hope there will be some major announcements on improving bilateral ties.”
Chang said the prime minister is currently in Saudi Arabia, and China will be his first destination after Southeast Asian countries and Saudi.
“This shows how important China is to Malaysia.”
He said this would be Anwar’s second visit to China after he visited the country as member of parliament for Port Dickson back in 2018, adding that even though Anwar was still not yet elected Parti Keadilan Rakyat president at that time, he was accorded VIP reception by the Chinese authorities.
During that visit, he met then International Liaison Department director Song Tao, who would typically meet only a party’s president.
“Anwar also managed to meet then foreign minister Wang Yi at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
“But this time, he will visit China in his capacity as Malaysia’s prime minister.
“Certainly there will be a lot of difference. He will definitely meet the President, Premier and other key leaders of China.”