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International relations

Malaysia's Anwar meets Xi, likely to seek China help for rail link

Despite pro-Western image, PM wants close Beijing ties to boost economy

Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, left, is meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on March 31. (Photo courtesy of Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia)

KUALA LUMPUR -- Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim met President Xi Jinping on Friday during his first trip to China as Malaysia's leader, as his delegation hopes to tie up several projects, likely including assistance for a high-speed railway linking Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Anwar arrived in Beijing on Wednesday, with a delegation of ministers from the foreign, trade, transport, technology, housing and tourism departments. A meeting with his counterpart Premier Li Qiang is also set for Saturday, after which both are expected to sign as many as 16 memoranda of understanding related to agriculture and trade. He is expected to return to Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

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