KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 – Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Friday received a courtesy visit from the Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Guangdong Province, Hu Chunhua, at a hotel, here. Hu, who is also a CPC Central Committee political bureau member, is in Kuala Lumpur to attend the Malaysia-China (Guangdong) Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference at the same hotel. At the hour-long meeting with Hishammuddin, Hu was accompanied by members of his delegation and China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang. Also present was Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation director-general, Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman. Hishammuddin, in a statement issued to reporters after Hu’s visit, said the meeting discussed Malaysia-China bilateral relations which had grown through various sectors including trade, investment, tourism and education.
“Cooperation in the defence sector between Malaysia and China has also grown in line with the enhanced bilateral relations. “I believe that with the existing good relations, both sides will be able to forge closer cooperation which will further strengthen that relations,” the minister said. He said the meeting with Hu was also important in the context of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations. Hishammuddin, who is acting Transport Minister, also conveyed through Hu, Malaysia’s appreciation for the Chinese government’s commitment and dedication to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft on flight MH370. Besides 12 crew members, the airliner also carried 227 passengers including 154 Chinese nationals. Flight MH370 left the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for Beijing at 12.41am but disappeared from radar screens about one hour later while over the South China Sea on March 8. The search operation, which involves several nations, first started in the South China Sea, then extended to the Straits of Melaka and Andaman Sea, and now concentrated in the southern Indian Ocean.