Penang, Malaysia – Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow met with the Vice-President of China, Han Zheng, at the Shangri-la Rasa Sayang at 6.30 pm today, during Zheng’s stopover in Penang. This visit is part of Zheng’s four-day official tour of Malaysia, which began on Wednesday.
According to BERNAMA News Agency, the 30-minute courtesy call signifies the strengthening ties between Malaysia and China, especially ahead of the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year. Chow noted the growing trend of Chinese leaders visiting Penang along with Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya. He expressed optimism about the impact of the Malaysia-China strategic relationship on investments, especially in the context of the trade war between China and the United States, highlighting Malaysia as a key investment location for Chinese companies in Southeast Asia.
Discussions during the visit also covered educational collaboration and talent development to bolster economic growth. Chow believes that this visit, including stops in Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, aligns with regional trade and investment shifts, setting a positive tone for the upcoming anniversary celebrations in 2024.
In a gesture of cultural exchange, Chow presented a gold-colored tiered bowl, a symbol of Malaysian folk tradition, to Vice-President Han Zheng. In return, Zheng gifted a Chinese teapot set to the Penang state government as a token of appreciation.
The Chinese delegation, comprising 14 members, is scheduled to depart from Penang International Airport tomorrow at noon, concluding Han Zheng’s visit to Malaysia. This visit underscores the robust economic relationship between the two nations. In 2022, the bilateral trade between Malaysia and China amounted to RM487.13 billion (US$110.62 billion), marking a 15.6 percent increase from the previous year. China also emerged as Malaysia’s largest foreign direct investor in 2022, with investments totaling RM55.4 billion (US$12.5 billion).