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Malaysia, China sign 14 MOUs worth RM143.6b

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Malaysia and China have signed 14 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) related to the defence, economy, agriculture, education, finance and the construction sectors.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang witnessed the signing ceremonies after jointly chairing a bilateral meeting between Malaysia and China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday.

The New Straits Times quoted Najib as saying the 14 business arrangements sealed between two countries were worth RM143.64 billion.

"What we achieved today is historic,” he told a press conference with Malaysian media in Beijing yesterday.

The bilateral meeting was also attended by the Prime Minister's Special Envoy to China Ong Ka Ting, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mah Siew Kiong.

Also present were International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek, and Education Minister Mahadzir Khalid.

The Malaysian delegation also included Sarawak Local Government Minister Sim Kui Hian, Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman, Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron and senior government officials.

Hishammuddin inked an MOU with his counterpart General Chang Wanquan on the renewal of Bilateral Defence Cooperation, while Ahmad Shabery signed an MOU on Agriculture Cooperation with his counterpart, Zhi Suhping.

Ahmad Shabery also inked a Protocol between the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia's Agriculture Mnistry on Inspection, Quarantine and Veterinary Hygiene Requirements for Export Raw-unclean Edible Birdnest with Zhi.

Among the agreements signed were the renewal of the MOU on Education Cooperation with China between Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid and China's Education Minister Chen Baosheng.

Finance Ministry secretary-general Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah also signed the binding Financial Framework Agreement between Malaysia Rail Link Sdn Bhd (MRLSB) with The Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM) with EXIM vice-president Yuan Xinyong.

Najib earlier received a courtesy call from National People's Congress (NPC) chairperson Zhang Dejiang at the Great Hall of the People before being welcomed by Li at a special welcoming ceremony on the grounds of the area.

The Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian national flag) and China's national flag were flying proudly in the chilly evening, and the national anthems of both countries, Negaraku and 'March of the Volunteers' filled the air the moment Najib and Li reached the dais to receive a salute from the guard-of-honour mounted by the Chinese People's Liberation Army as well as a 19-gun salute.

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