Dr Mahathir Mohamad will be making his first official visit to China tomorrow, after becoming prime minister again.
He will be accompanied by six cabinet ministers and Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
According to Wisma Putra, Mahathir’s trip is on the invitation of Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
This will mark Mahathir’s eighth official visit to China as prime minister and his first since assuming the position again on May 10.
Wisma Putra said the official visit will serve as a new milestone in the consolidation of bilateral ties between Malaysia and China.
“It will set new strategic pillars to invigorate the future cooperation between the two countries, especially in the political, trade, investment, agriculture, technology and regional security realms.
“Malaysia and China continue to maintain their close and comprehensive bilateral relations. The PRC has been Malaysia’s top trading partner for the past nine consecutive years. In 2017, the total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at RM290.65 billion,” Wisma Putra added.
The ministers who will be following Mahathir are Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok, International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking, Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, Law Minister Liew Vui Keong and Entrepreneurship Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof.
DPM, senior ministers to hold the fort
This means that five of his most senior cabinet members – Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali and Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu will be holding the fort at home and in the Dewan Negara, which begins sitting on Monday.
At Hangzhou, the Malaysian delegation will be visiting provincial leaders, the Alibaba Group Corporate Headquarters and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which now co-owns national carmaker Proton.
The Malaysian delegation will also visit drone makers Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) and attend a dialogue session with entrepreneurs hosted by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.
Over in Beijing, the prime minister is scheduled to meet Li and China President Xi Jinping to discuss bilateral and international issues.
Mahathir and Li will also witness the signing of three MoUs on agriculture and agri-commodity.
“In Beijing, the prime minister is also scheduled to hold dialogues with renowned entrepreneurs, as well as potential investors from China.
“He will also host a dinner for the Malaysian diaspora,” Wisma Putra added in the statement. – Malaysiakini