BEIJING: Malaysia is embarking on "durian diplomacy" by bringing along 43 of the king of fruits during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's working trip to China.
Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said while Malaysia is still not exporting fresh durians to China, special permit was given on this occasion.
"We decided on 43 durians to coincide with the 43 years of diplomatic ties between the two countries," he said.
The thorny delights arrived at a port in Guangdong province, and were taken to Beijing via land transport.
They will be presented to the Chinese delegation at the Great Hall of the People on Saturday afternoon, when Najib is slated to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
The Ministry will sign a memorandum of understanding with its Chinese counterpart to pave the way for the export of Malaysian pineapples to China.
Shabery said China is receptive towards the import of fresh durians from Malaysia, and if allowed one day, will bring huge economic benefits to farmers and related industries.
Currently, only frozen durians are allowed to enter China.