Daim arrives in Beijing, meets China's foreign minister

Modified 18 Jul 2018, 11:06 am

Council of Eminent Persons chairperson Daim Zainuddin was today officially received by China's foreign minister Wang Yi in Beijing.

According to China's foreign ministry website, Wang said Malaysia and China were long-time friends and strategic partners that had gone through various challenges together.

"Both countries had recently formed new governments. Both countries are on a new point in history," the minister said.

Wang added that China was willing to help develop Malaysia and deepen cooperation on President Xi Jinping's One Belt One Road (Obor) initiative for the benefit of the people in both countries.

Daim, meanwhile, was quoted saying that Malaysia was supportive of the project.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he added, was someone who understood China and was looking forward to expediting talks on bilateral ties.

Daim is the first representative of the Mahathir administration to visit China following Pakatan Harapan's electoral victory on May 9.

Immediately after taking the reins of Putrajaya, the Mahathir administration suspended several mega-projects which involved mainland Chinese firms.

Among the projects that have been shelved are the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and two gas pipeline projects.

The new administration said it will attempt to pare down the cost of the ECRL, a project involving an RM55 billion loan from China. The government has already forced the contractors to stop work pending a review.

As for the two gas pipeline projects, a major Chinese firm has been accused of involvement in a money-laundering scheme hatched by the previous Najib Abdul Razak administration.