Premier Li Keqiang on June 27 met with Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s deputy prime minister, who came to China to attend the 2017 Summer Davos Forum.
Shanmugaratnam first expressed his condolence on the landslide disaster in Southwest China’s Sichuan province. Premier Li expressed his gratitude, saying the Chinese government is trying its best to conduct rescue work.
Premier Li said China and Singapore keep frequent high-level exchanges, and are witnessing smooth progress in bilateral pragmatic cooperation, with a co-built logistics center in Chongqing municipality playing a key role in mutual connectivity.
China is willing to work with Singapore to promote negotiation on the free trade agreement (FTA) upgrade and regional all-round economic partnership, sending strong signals for securing free trade and promoting regional development, according to Premier Li.
Premier Li said China’s ties with ASEAN are among China’s priorities in its neighborhood diplomacy, and China has always supported the construction of the ASEAN Community.
He hopes Singapore, as the coordinator country between ASEAN and China, can play a constructive role in promoting relations between the two sides when it assumes the rotating presidency of the organization.
Shanmugaratnam said Singapore sees the long-term perspective of Singapore-China and ASEAN-China relations, and is willing to expand cooperation in key areas.
Singapore will accelerate the negotiation on an upgraded China-Singapore free trade zone and regional comprehensive economic partnership, contributing to the comprehensive strategic cooperation partnership between ASEAN and China.