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Zahid says China agrees to extend visa exemption for Malaysian tourists
Published on: Friday, May 31, 2024
By: Bernama
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Zahid says China agrees to extend visa exemption for Malaysian tourists
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (centre) and China Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang (left) during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, in Beijing May 31, 2024. ― Bernama pic
BEIJING: China has agreed to extend visa exemption for Malaysian tourists from 15 to 30 days, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Ahmad Zahid who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister announced this matter during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and China, here today.

“During my meeting with Premier Li Qiang yesterday, one of the subjects raised was to extend our Malaysian inbound tourists to China (visa exemption) from 15 to 30 days which Malaysia has opened the floodgate by giving Chinese tourists 30 days visa free.

“I would like to announce that both sides have agreed and the implementation is after the agreement has been signed,” he said.

Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang was also present at the ceremony which held in Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

Yesterday, Malaysia’s Ambassador to China Datuk Norman Muhamad stated that Ahmad Zahid had proposed the matter during his courtesy visit on Chinese Premier Li Qiang and received positive response from China.

China has extended the visa-free policy for short-term visits to the republic for Malaysia and 11 other nations until the end of 2025. The extension aims to enhance exchanges between Chinese and foreign nationals.

Last November, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced a 30-day visa exemption for tourists from China and India starting Dec 1 of the same year.

Meanwhile, commenting on the Malaysia-China 50th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations this year, Ahmad Zahid believed that both countries could work together to realise the respective concepts of Malaysia Madani and Community Shared Future (CSF), for the mutual benefit of their people.

“Malaysia Madani, which was introduced in January 2023 shares the same values and attributes as the CSF proposed by China’s President Xi Jinping in 2013, advocating innovation, care, compassion, inclusiveness as well as mutual respect,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid also highlighted that Malaysia-China collaboration now extends beyond politics and economics to include education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, strengthening the bonds between both societies.

“However, there remains ample opportunity for both sides to consolidate further and expand the excellent ties,” he added.

The Deputy Prime Minister is in his first official visit to the republic from May 22 to tomorrow at the invitation of Xuexiang.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid in an interview with Bernama Radio said Malaysia plans to increase the supply of professional labour to meet the needs of Chinese companies that wish to invest in the country.

For that purpose, he said the field of Vocational Education and Training and Technical (TVET) for local people will be increased in line with the speed and sophistication of Chinese technological products such as the automotive and telecommunications industries.

"I see many opportunities such as in the field of infrastructure and some other areas that we should explore, and since China is very interested in investing in Malaysia, it will not only open up job opportunities but also the sharing of new knowledge and technology to the country," he said.

Apart from that, Ahmad Zahid said the aspect of cooperation with China will also be enhanced through the production of halal products including food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics with the Halal Development Corporation Berhad (HDC) together with the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) will explore new markets in the country. 

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