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Chinese premier's visit "big event" for Sino-Malaysian ties: officials

04-22-2011 10:11 BJT

BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Malaysia next week is "a big event" that will boost bilateral ties between the two countries, officials said on Thursday.

Premier Wen is scheduled to pay an official visit to Malaysia on April 27 and 28 at the invitation of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue at a briefing in Beijing.

"China and Malaysia are friendly neighbors," said the Assistant Foreign Minister, citing the strategic cooperation forged between the two countries in 2004.

"Both China and Malaysia attach great importance to bilateral ties, and are committed to expanding reciprocal cooperation and joint development of the two countries," he said.

Currently, China is Malaysia's largest trade partner, while Malaysia is China's largest trade partner in the regional bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In 2010, bilateral trade grew by 42.8 percent and hit 74.2 billion U.S. dollars between the two countries, according to Song Yaoming, deputy director of the Asian Affairs Department of China's Ministry of Commerce.

The two countries are also making progress in cooperation in terms of tourism, agriculture and infrastructure, among other sectors.

"Premier Wen's visit is a big event for Sino-Malaysian ties," Hu said.

During his stay in Malaysia, Wen will hold talks with his Malaysian counterpart Najib and meet with former Malaysian Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Hu said.

Wen and Najib will hold an in-depth discussion on advancing bilateral ties, Hu said, adding that the two leaders will also attend a forum on economic and trade cooperation during Wen's visit.

Premier Wen will also interact extensively with friends from many fields in Malaysia, Hu said.

During his visit, Wen will also witness the signing of a series of cooperation deals between the two countries, Hu said. "The two sides are communicating with each other on the expected deals," he added.

"We believe that Premier Wen Jiabao's visit will be fruitful with the joint efforts of the two sides," Hu said.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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