BEIJING, March 31 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim paid a courtesy call on China’s President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People here today.
The two leaders then proceeded to a meeting that lasted about 45 minutes.
This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two.
In his brief welcoming remarks, Xi said he appreciated the fact that despite observing the holy month of Ramadan, the Malaysian Prime Minister had accepted his invitation to visit China.
Xi said he also took note of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between both nations this year and the 50th anniversary of the Malaysia-China diplomatic relationship next year.
Hence, he said it is hoped that under Anwar’s leadership, Malaysia and China will work more closely together to bring the relationship to greater heights.
Xi said both countries have also agreed to build a China-Malaysia community with a shared future.
“This bilateral relationship is a new historical starting point,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anwar in his introductory remarks said the Government and the people of Malaysia value highly the existing relationship with China.
“I can’t express how glad I am to be here. My visit here is also being monitored closely with so much affection by many Malaysians,” he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed his respect for Xi, for his visionary leadership, ideas and efforts in reforming China and bringing the country up to greater heights.
“You are a visionary, you are a statesman, you talk about security, economics and civilisations.
“On a personal level, President Xi, you have not only changed the course of China but also given a ray of hope to the world and mankind, with the visions that extend beyond China, into the region and the world,” Anwar said.
Anwar is among the first foreign leaders to visit China and met with Xi after his reelection as China’s President for the third term on March 10.
After meeting with the president, Anwar received a courtesy call from the Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Zhao Leji, also held at the Great Hall of the People.
Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
China is also the eighth country that he had undertaken an official visit to, so far. — Bernama