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Najib Arrives In China For Boao Forum For Asia

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HAINAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrived here today to participate in the Boao Forum for Asia 2015 where he is scheduled to deliver a speech at opening of the annual event tomorrow.

The Prime Minister landed at the coastal city of Haikou’s Meilan International Airport about 4pm and was received by Hainan Vice-Governor Lu Chunhua and China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang.

Najib’s official delegation included Special Envoy of the Prime Minister to China Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Secretary-General for Bilateral Affairs Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim and Malaysia’s Ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya.

The delegation was also accorded a 45-minute and specially arranged high-speed train ride from Meilan Airport Railway to Boao, the venue for the forum.

Najib is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with China President Xi Jinping at the Boao State Guest House tonight, followed by a private dinner.

The meeting and dinner, hosted by the president on the eve of the opening of the forum, are on Xi’s personal invitation – a testimony of the close relationship between the two leaders.

This is Najib’s fourth meeting with Xi since he became the prime minister in 2009 and his fifth visit to China since 2011.

It is understood that during the meeting, both leaders will discuss bilateral ties in the areas of trade, education, financial services, infrastructure development and defence between the two nations.

Over the years, Malaysia and China have been enjoying close working relationship, which have been upgraded from close strategic cooperation to strategic comprehensive partnership.

Last year, Malaysia and China celebrated their 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties and by 2017, both countries have targetted to achieve US$160 billion (RM586.4 billion) in trade value.

Tomorrow, Najib, along with other leaders, will deliver his speech after Xi’s keynote address at the opening of the forum.

His speech is expected to be tailored to the forum’s theme, while touching on the visions of Asean as an economic community. Malaysia is the Asean chairman this year.

The prime minister is also slated to hold meetings with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Karim Massimov on the sidelines of the forum before leaving for Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon.

This year’s forum, themed “Asia’s New Future: Toward a Community of Common Destiny”, is the first for Najib and attended by 16 leaders and senior government officials from Asian, European and African countries.

The event, the 14th since its inception in 2002, is a platform to discuss economic cooperation within Asia and other parts of the world.

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