PUTRAJAYA, Jan 31, 2016:

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will be undertaking a working visit to China, from tomorrow until Feb 4.

The Foreign Ministry in a statement today said this would be his first working visit to China as the Deputy Prime Minister.

Ahmad Zahid is scheduled to call on the leaders of China and will hold meetings with the Central Political and Legal Affairs Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Meng Jiangzhu and Minister of Public Security, Gou Shengkun.

“The visit is to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations especially in the areas of security, counter-terrorism and immigration, it said.

The Deputy Prime Minister will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Hamidah Khamis and senior government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs.

Malaysia and China continue to enjoy close and cordial bilateral relations and cooperation in key areas which includes politics, economy and trade, defence and security.

The Foreign Ministry said China had been Malaysia’s largest trading partner since 2009.

Malaysia is China’s eighth largest trading partner worldwide and the largest trading partner among ASEAN countries while China is Malaysia’s largest source of imports and second largest export destination.

Between January to November 2015, Malaysia’s total trade with China increased by 12% to US$54.38 billion (RM211 billion) compared with the corresponding period of 2014.

Total exports increased by 11.6% to US$24.02 billion (RM93 billion), while imports grew 12.3% to US$30.36 billion (RM117 billion) for the same period.

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