Malaysian PM given red carpet reception in state car, while PM Lee and Ho Ching travel by bus

Malaysian PM given red carpet reception in state car, while PM Lee and Ho Ching travel by bus

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived in Beijing on Thursday (30 Mar) to continue his official visit to China after attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2023 in Hainan.

The special aircraft carrying Mr Anwar from Hainan landed at the Beijing Capital International Airport at 4.30 pm local time.

The newly elected Prime Minister was accompanied on his maiden visit to China by Transport Minister Anthony Loke and Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming and they were met on arrival by China’s Vice-Foreign Minister Sun Weidong.

The Malaysian delegates also comprised Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, International Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Ouyang Yujing and Malaysia’s Deputy Chief of Mission to China Sanmugan Subramaniam were present to welcome him.

Mr Anwar is scheduled to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday (31 Mar) to discuss the strategic aspects of the bilateral relationship and to chart a path forward for renewed relations in the post-pandemic era, taking into account a more challenging global environment.

Additionally, he is set to meet with Zhao Leji, Chairman of the National People’s Congress.

On Saturday (1 Apr), Mr Anwar will be given an official welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People by the newly appointed Chinese Premier Li Qiang, followed by a bilateral meeting.

During this meeting, both leaders will oversee the signing of three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two governments.

In addition to these official meetings, the Malaysian Prime Minister will also have engagement sessions with prominent investors and Chinese business leaders. Furthermore, he will be delivering a keynote address at a Malaysia-China business forum as part of his visit.

At the same time, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife, Mdm Ho Ching, also arrived in Beijing from the forum in Hainan as part of his official visit to China. This is his first official visit to China since the pandemic in 2019.

Mr Lee is accompanied by a delegation of about 50 officials comprising ministers and officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Trade and Industry, which include Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Development, Sim Ann and Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Law, Rahayu Mahzam.

They were also met on arrival by Vice-Foreign Minister Sun.

However, the reception for the two prime ministers was not equal.

While Anwar’s delegation was given a red-carpet welcome and a state car bearing the Malaysian flag, Mr Lee, Mdm Ho and the Singapore delegate were simply ushered onto airport buses.

On his visit to Beijing, Mr Lee will meet President Xi and Premier Li, who will host a Welcome Ceremony and a Lunch Banquet.

Mr Lee will also have meetings with the Chairman of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji, the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Wang Huning, and the Secretary of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee Yin Li.

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