35 years ago, when my late father and the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak, forged Malaysia’s bilateral relationship with China, it marked a historic era at a time when the country was still entrenched in its closed-door policy to most of the world.
Today, it is a different world, and certainly a very different China. Ever since the Chinese government shifted its policy to one of increasing openness, the country’s dragon economy has soared, benefitting us in many ways in the past three-and-a-half decades. We were one of the ten largest investors in China in 2008 and its fourth largest trading partner in the world.
Today I retrace my late father’s steps as I make my first official visit as Prime Minister to meet with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. I will be bringing with me several Ministers and a significant business delegation, and I am hopeful that we will forge further cooperation whether it be in businesses, trade, collaborations and even cultural.
Apart from my bilateral meeting with the Premier and a visit with the President, I will also be visiting the Beijing Foreign Studies University, attending the Malaysia-China Business Forum and several other trade functions. As we face uncertain economic times, it is my hope and intention to ensure that our bilateral ties are further strengthened and that the outcome will help spur our nation forwards, closer to the vision of 1Malaysia.