Singapore and China reaffirm upgraded bilateral relations
China's top diplomat Wang Yi met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan during his visit.
Singapore and China reaffirm upgraded bilateral relations

Singapore and China reaffirm upgraded bilateral relations

Photo: AFP/Prime Minister's Office Singapore
Eurasia 17/08/2023 14:33

China's top diplomat Wang Yi met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan during his visit, Channel News Asia reported. In the past few days Wang Yi also visited Vietnam and Sri Lanka.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and visiting Chinese top diplomat Wang Yi on Friday (Aug 11) reaffirmed the two countries' "longstanding and substantive relations", which were upgraded in April, according to Channel News Asia. 

The decision to elevate bilateral ties followed a meeting earlier this year between PM Lee and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijin.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said at the time that the upgraded partnership reflects the commitment by both sides to continually expand bilateral cooperation, as well as pursue new collaboration in forward-looking areas such as digital and green economies, the news site added.

On Friday, Mr Lee and Mr Wang discussed how to expand and enhance collaboration that would benefit both countries and the region, MFA said in a press statement.

Mr Wang also updated Mr Lee on China's foreign policy priorities.

Mr Lee welcomed China's continued engagement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and looked forward to closer ASEAN-China cooperation, said MFA.

"Both sides affirmed the importance of building an open, peaceful and inclusive region," it added.

Mr Wang also called on Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong.

"They took stock of the good progress in bilateral cooperation, anchored by our three government-to-government projects in Suzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing, and institutionalised platforms such as the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC)," MFA said.

Mr Wong also expressed in-principle support for China's interest to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - a trade pact based around the Pacific rim.

The trading bloc was agreed in 2018 between 11 countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The United Kingdom announced in July that it had formally signed a treaty to join CPTPP, making it the European nation to join the bloc.

China submitted an application to join the partnership in September 2021.

This would require China to adhere to the CPTPP’s high-standard rules and comprehensive market access commitments, MFA noted.

"Its interest to join the partnership also has to be worked out between China and all CPTPP partners, on the basis of consensus," the ministry added. 

Mr Wong also welcomed China’s application to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), a pact between Singapore, Chile and New Zealand to facilitate digital trade and create a framework for the digital economy, Channel News Asia added.

AFP/Xinhua/Then Chih Wey
Mr Wang was hosted to dinner by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Thursday, where they reaffirmed strong bilateral ties and reviewed the "multi-faceted cooperation" between both Singapore and China, said MFA. 

The two sides spoke highly of the current sound development momentum of China-Singapore relations, saying that in accordance with the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries, they will take the opportunity of upgrading China-Singapore relations to an all-round high-quality future-oriented partnership to continue to push forward the high-quality joint construction of the Belt and Road. Both sides will promote the continuous achievement of connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation, so that it will better benefit the people of the two countries and the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin posted on Facebook.

In the past few days Wang Yi also visited Vietnam and Sri Lanka. "Both China and Vietnam should make good preparations for high-level exchanges, deepen strategic mutual trust, and jointly safeguard political and institutional security", said Yi after a meeting with Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang.

"China is willing to strengthen governance experience sharing with Sri Lanka and cooperation in various fields, help Sri Lanka effectively meet the challenges of financial debt, and enhance its capacity for independent development", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin wrote on Facebook. Wang Yi met Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

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