Malaysia's home minister held three sets of talks with Chinese governmental officials as soon as he touched down in Beijing Monday, in an attempt to bolster his country's reputation after the recent outcry over alleged abuses of Chinese women by local police.
Azmi Khalid, who was asked by Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to make the urgent trip, began the weeklong visit two weeks ahead of schedule.
Khalid met with officials from the ministries of foreign affairs, public security and Chinese National Tourism Administration, but no details were immediately available, according to sources with the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
Assistant Foreign Minister Shen Guofang reiterated China's stance on the recent mistreatment of Chinese nationals, urging the Malaysian Government to take urgent measures to investigate the cases and punish those involved.
He said he hopes that such incidents do not happen again.
The delegation, composed of 16 people including immigration and tourism officials, will stay in Beijing until tomorrow, and then go to Shanghai and Guangzhou to meet local officials.
They are expected to discuss with embassy staff issues of immigration and image promotion, among others. They are also planning to meet Chinese travel writers, tour operators and advertisers.
The move follows the release of a video clip in which a naked woman, believed to be a Chinese national, was forced to perform squats in front of a Malaysian uniformed policewoman.
In related news, Malaysian authorities have arrested three air force members and another man on suspicion of raping a 32-year-old businesswoman from South China's Guangdong Province at a hotel in Selangor.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said earlier that China urged Malaysia to investigate and severely punish the troublemakers. China last week summoned the Malaysian ambassador in Beijing to protest over the treatment of Chinese citizens.
Malaysia was one of the first countries to obtain approved destination status from China's outbound tourism authorities, but it has seen a 42 per cent decline in Chinese tourists this year, according to its tourism authority.
Dun Jidong, spokesman for China Travel Service said the cases are troubling, and their impact will depend on how the Malaysian side deals with them. But he did not think they have been the reason for a marked drop in Chinese visitor numbers.
Source: China Daily