China elevates ties with Malaysia, aims to triple trade
KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday he and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had agreed to elevate ties to a "comprehensive strategic partnership", aiming to boost military cooperation and nearly triple two-way trade to US$160 billion (S$200 billion) by 2017.
The Chinese and Malaysian leaders spoke soon after US President Barack Obama cancelled a week-long tour of four Asian nations due to the US government shutdown.
Mr Najib said he agreed with Mr Xi, who is visiting Malaysia ahead the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Indonesia, to encourage more joint military exercises and visits between the nations.
China is already Malaysia's largest trading partner, with two-way trade last year totalling RM181 billion (S$70.6 billion).