SINGAPORE — China and Singapore on Aug 3 pledged to further promote substantial cooperation between the two sides, as Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam during his two-day visit to the city state.
The Chinese foreign minister conveyed China’s warm congratulations to Singapore as the latter celebrates its 50th year of independence this weekend. The spirit of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has been passed on to Singaporean leaders and its people, and China believes that Singapore will create a brighter future, he told the Singaporean prime minister.
“China-Singapore cooperation has always been forward-looking and pace-setting,” and has always been a spearhead among China’s relationships with countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Wang said. As this year marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Singapore, he said new opportunities have emerged in the development of bilateral ties.
China is willing to cooperate with Singapore to implement the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries to explore and open up new areas of cooperation, the minister said.
For his part, Lee Hsien Loong said China-Singapore cooperation has been highly effective, and expressed hope that the two countries maintain the good momentum of bilateral ties and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.
Singapore is willing to enhance substantial cooperation with China, especially in promoting the third government-to-government cooperation project as well as upgrading the bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), Lee said.
During the day, the Chinese foreign minister also met with his Singaporean counterpart K Shanmugam. As Singapore becomes the coordinator of China-ASEAN relations later this year, Wang said he is confident that China-Singapore relations, and China-ASEAN relations will move smoothly with fresh opportunities for development.
The two ministers held a wide range of in-depth discussions on international and regional issues of mutual concern, including the issue of the South China Sea.